Scotland’s water is important for our health and businesses across the country.

As well as being used for drinking, water is used in industry (e.g. distilling whisky and fisheries), for producing energy (hydropower), and for recreational activities (such as bird-watching, angling and water sports).


Loch Lomond - Balmaha


Find out about Scotland’s bathing waters and beaches near you?

Is your beach as clean as you would expect?

View the full data analysis application for further information about bathing waters

Discover more data on Scotland's water environment

See the status of the rivers, lochs, estuaries and coasts in Scotland. Find out about water levels, invasive species or overall condition.

View the SEPA Water environment hub for further information about the status of Scotland's waters.

What is the trend in Scottish river pollution?

Easy-to-understand graph to show the length of Scotland’s rivers at each category of pollution. What do you notice about the trend over the past 20 years?

Scotland River Pollution trends over 20 years

Find out more about the status of Scotland's groundwater and surface water between 2009 and 2016

Has the quality of water improved or declined? What do you think the reasons for this are?

This data analysis application allows you to view how the overall condition, physical condition, water flows and levels, and water quality are expected to change over time for surface freshwaters and groundwaters.


Explore this flood map and areas likely to flood

This SEPA flood map shows areas which are likely to flood from rivers, the sea and surface water.

Overview map of Scotland’s rivers, coasts and lochs and their water quality

Scotland's environment map showing Scotland's rivers, coasts and lochs and their water quality. What factors are having an effect on the quality of waterways near you?

Map of Scotland's rivers, coasts and lochs and their water quality

Map of major river catchment areas

Scotland's environment map showing major river catchment areas. Are your schools grounds within the catchment of a major river?

Scotland's seas

Scotland’s seas cover an area larger than its land area. This map shows the boundaries.

Scotland's seas areas

Scotland's sea water

Diagram showing Atlantic water circulation and coastal water circulation around Scotland.

Atlantic and coastal water circulation around Scotland


Scottish River Levels

Scottish River Levels Find out if the rivers near you have normal water levels or if they are high or low. What do you think might affect the levels?

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Good Fish Guide

Good Fish Guide Get the most up to date sustainable seafood advice in the palm of your hand. Information from the Marine Conservation Society.


Marine Conservation Society - Good Fish Guide

Citizen Science Surveys

Bloomin' Algae

Bloomin' Algae Citizen scientists across the UK are being urged to help the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) monitor harmful algal blooms which can threaten public health as well as the lives of dogs, cattle, birds and fish.

CEH - Bloomin Algae

Sealife Tracker

Sealife Tracker The Sealife Tracker project aims to collect much needed data on both invasive and climate change indicator marine species around the UK coastline.

Sealife Tracker

Big Pond Dip

Big Pond Dip This simple survey will allow you to do a mini health check on your pond, find out what is currently thriving under the surface and learn a bit more about what species you find.

Freshwater Habitats Trust - Big Pond Dip

Big Spawn Count

Big Spawn Count Citizen science project surveying the spawning patterns of amphibians in garden and school ponds.

Freshwater Habitats Trust - Big Spawn Count

National Seashell Survey

National Seashell Survey The National Seashell Survey is a fun way to learn about the natural world, while helping to collect useful information about the species that live around our coasts.

Buglife - National Seashell Survey

OPAL Water Survey

OPAL Water Survey What is the water quality like near you? Use this survey from OPAL to find out more.

OPAl Water Logo

The Great Nurdle Hunt

The Great Nurdle Hunt Look for nurdles on your local beach you can have fun and help show the local plastics industry their impact on the River Forth.


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We have produced videos to help you with data sampling, collection and recording - produced in partnership with Education Scotland and OPAL (Open Air Laboratories).

Pond dipping

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

Water clarity and pH

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

More data sampling, collection and recording videos are available from Education Scotland and OPAL.

Water infographic

Scotland's environment Water Infographic (PDF) allows teachers to find out more about water across Scotland.

Water Infographic

This page was reviewed on 28 Nov 2019

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