The increasing cost of water in public supply is providing renewed interest in groundwater from industry and other intensive water-users. At present, groundwater in Scotland enjoys considerable advantages: over surface water. However, there are also disadvantages: in some areas groundwater quality is poor due either to anthropogenic activity or the natural occurrence of acidic groundwaters. The future groundwater development and management policy for Scotland is being formed around the Water Resources Framework Directive and the Groundwater Action Programme. However, there are several policy constraints which urgently need to be addressed; these include (a) the role of the Water Order and (b) the need for a licensing system to control abstraction from selected aquifer units.\ud \u
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