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At Scottish Water we strive to ensure that drinking water supplies are clear, fresh and wholesome. While Scotland's drinking water is typically high quality on occasion substances which are not desirable such as pesticides, nitrates and colour can be found in water sources.


Sustainable Land Management: SLM Incentive Scheme, for the protection of drinking water sources

Read the film transcript here

Protecting our drinking water sources

Scottish Water takes water from the environment and treats it to provide wholesome supplies of drinking water for the people of Scotland. The vast majority of the water in the environment is unpolluted and with treatment meets very stringent drinking water quality standards.

Unfortunately, some water sources are not in such good condition. In these cases, Scottish Water is looking for new and alternative approaches to supplement the treatment of these supplies through sustainable land management. This offers the opportunity to enhance and maintain a high quality supply of drinking water, providing even greater value for money for our customers and delivering real environmental improvements.

Land managers, however, cannot be expected to cover the costs for protection of drinking water sources, where the action required to do so is above pre-existing legal requirements (e.g. General Binding Rules (GBRs), Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules).
To assist with this we have introduced The Scottish Water Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Incentive Scheme. Land managers can apply to the Incentive Scheme for assistance in financing measures aimed at contributing to the improvement and protection of water sources in the catchment, over and above the expected regulatory compliance.

Our Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Incentive Scheme provides financial assistance for selected measures to help protect drinking water sources. This enables changes to be made which are over and above regulatory compliance.

By working together it is hoped that public health is protected, a sustainable approach to the improvement and protection of drinking water quality is adopted and that land managers are not disadvantaged by selecting a more sustainable approach.

This is an exciting opportunity to work in a different way that if successful will benefit drinking water supplies, the environment and land managers.

Scheme Details

The SLM Incentive Scheme is currently being revised and is awaiting approval by the European Commission. More information will be posted on this page once this has been approved.

The draft information booklet can be viewed here.

Contact Us

For further details of Scottish Water's SLM Incentive Scheme, please e-mail us at

You can also call our Customer Helpline 0845 601 8855 and ask to speak to one of our Catchment Liaison Officers.

Or you can write to us at:

Sustainable Land Management Team
Scottish Water
PO Box 8855
EH10 6YQ