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Drinking Water Protection Scheme (DWPS)

Incentive Scheme

Where is the DWPS available?

The DWPS targets specific areas within drinking water catchments. The catchments eligible for the scheme are regularly reviewed and these areas may be revised when water quality shows a long term improvement. Additional areas may also be added into the DWPS if it is thought that a partnership approach may benefit water quality.

Click here to see our Ugie catchment areas.
Click here to see our Orkney catchment areas.

How does the DWPS work?

Land managers will be invited to join the DWPS by Scottish Water. The scheme is not open for applications.
Scottish Water will contact eligible land managers to arrange a farm visit. During the visit the possible risks to water quality will be discussed, and items identified within the scheme which will help reduce this risk.

A full list of items available within the DWPS, along with their technical requirements, can be found here. These items are financed at 100%. In the Ugie catchment only one item is available, the substitution of metaldehyde for ferric phosphate (Item 2.1). 

Reviews will take place every 6 months where the proposals for individual farms will be assessed. Those likely to deliver the greatest improvements to the water quality issues in the area will be given priority.


It should be noted that financial support is not available to meet the cost of:

  • regulatory compliance;

  • repairing broken or damaged existing static or mobile equipment;

  • investments which do not result in any additional protection or a reduction in the contamination risk of a drinking water source;

  • capital works which are already underway.

Finance will not be awarded if finance has already been received from another source for the same work. No financial support will be made for investments that increase production capacity.

Scheme registration

The financing available from Scottish Water is compliant with provisions under State Aid rules under Regulation (EU) 702/2014.

Item 1.1 is available under Article 22 of Commission Regulation (EC) 702/2014. Gross aid intensity under this article is €1,500 per advice.

Items 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are available in accordance with Article 14, 3(d) of Commission Regulation (EC) 702/2014. Gross aid intensity will be provided at a rate 100%, where investments result in extra costs to the farmer for the achievement of agri-environmental-climate objectives.

This scheme is a replacement for the previous Sustainable Land Management Incentive Scheme, SA.40200 (2014/XA). No additional items have been included within the Drinking Water Protection Scheme, only the amount of available finance has changed and how areas are targeted.