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Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

3The water environment: definitions

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The following provisions have effect for the interpretation of this Part.

(2)“The water environment” means all surface water, groundwater and wetlands.

(3)“Surface water” means inland water (other than groundwater), transitional water and coastal water.

(4)“Groundwater” means water which is below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.

(5)“Wetland” means an area of ground the ecological, chemical and hydrological characteristics of which are attributable to frequent inundation or saturation by water and which is directly dependent, with regard to its water needs, on a body of groundwater or a body of surface water.

(6)“Inland water” means—

(a)all standing or flowing water on the surface of the land (other than transitional water), and

(b)all groundwater,

within the landward limits of coastal water.

(7)“Transitional water” means water (other than groundwater) in the vicinity of river mouths which is partly saline in character as a result of its proximity to coastal water but which is substantially influenced by freshwater flows.

(8)“Coastal water” means water (other than groundwater) within the area extending landward from the 3 mile limit up to the limit of the highest tide or, where appropriate, the seaward limits of any bodies of transitional water, but does not include any water beyond the seaward limits of the territorial sea of the United Kingdom adjacent to Scotland.

(9)“The 3 mile limit” means the limit consisting of a line every point of which is at a distance of 3 miles on the seaward side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea of the United Kingdom adjacent to Scotland is measured; and “miles” means international nautical miles of 1,852 metres.

(10)Nothing in this Part applies to any water contained in—

(a)artificial swimming pools,

(b)mains or other pipes belonging to Scottish Water or which are used by Scottish Water or any other person for the purpose only of providing a supply of water to any premises,

(c)water treatment works,

(d)sewers and drains which drain into sewers,

(e)sewage treatment works,

(f)artificially created systems for the treatment of pollutants.

(11)The Scottish Ministers—

(a)must deposit with SEPA maps showing what appear to them to be the landward and seaward limits of every body of transitional water,

(b)may, if they consider it appropriate to do so, deposit with SEPA maps showing the landward and seaward limits of coastal water,

(c)may, if they consider it appropriate to do so by reason of any change of what appears to them to be any of the limits referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), deposit a map showing the revised limits.

(12)SEPA must make the maps deposited with it under subsection (11) available, at all reasonable times, for public inspection free of charge.

(13)In subsection (8), “the seaward limits of any bodies of transitional water” means the places for the time being shown as such in the latest map deposited under subsection (11).

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