Our freshwaters and seas are generally in good condition, and there have been significant reductions in pollution over the last 25 years.

There are still problems resulting in the loss of habitat and wildlife (both current and historic) and from water pollution, predominantly from excessive amounts of nutrients entering the water. Floods and droughts can damage our economy and wildlife and affect our health and wellbeing.

Neptunes Staircase Fort William


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

Use the bathing water application below to find out if your beach as clean as you would expect?

Bathing waters application.

Discover more data on Scotland's water environment

Click on the water environment hub application below to see the status of the rivers, lochs, estuaries and coasts in Scotland. Find out about water levels, invasive species or overall condition.

Water environment hub application

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 about Scotland’s salmon industry

How has Scotland’s salmon industry changed over the past 2 decades? What are the reasons for these changes?

Atlantic Salmon Production 2000 - 2014

Find out about Scotland’s trout industry

How has Scotland’s trout industry changed over the past 2 decades? What are the reasons for these changes?

Rainbow trout production 2000 -2014

Find out about Scotland’s shellfish and mussels industry

Production numbers for shellfish and mussels have changed since 2003. Are these changes caused by environmental or economic changes?

Shellfish and mussels production 2003 - 2014


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

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

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.

Fidra Logo


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 YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

Water clarity and pH

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

This page was reviewed on 28 Nov 2019

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