Scotland is well prepared to achieve its ambition of being a world leading hydro nation, Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil said today.
A consultation on a Hydro Nation Strategy and a Water Resources Bill has been launched aimed at cementing Scotland's global reputation as a country with a dynamic, world class, water industry.
The proposed Bill places a duty on Ministers to develop the value of our water resources.
It will build on Scottish Water’s success as a public sector organisation ensuring it makes best use of its assets for commercial purposes and accelerates energy development.
Scottish Water recently announced that its new international division had secured a contract to provide knowledge and expertise for the Canadian water industry.
Mr Neil also revealed that Scottish Water is on the shortlist for a major contract in the Middle East to help improve their waste water network and the environment.
Alex Neil said:
“As Scotland prepares to make decisions about our nation’s future in a referendum in autumn 2014, our vision of Scotland as a hydro nation will play a key part in our plans to develop a low carbon economy, boost growth and create jobs.
“Just as Scotland is demonstrating world leadership in tackling climate change and protecting natural resources, we can demonstrate leadership in meeting the challenges and opportunities that the water industry presents across the world.
“Scotland’s water is one of our prize assets. This new legislation will underline the unique contribution Scotland has to make in areas such as water technology, governance, management and regulation.
“It aims to draw together Scottish expertise, building an international profile of Scotland as an important player in the water sector.
“The recent news of Scottish Water’s success in Canada and the potential for more positive developments in the Middle East, merely serve to illustrate the vast potential Scotland has in this industry across the world.
“This Bill will also underline the importance of retaining Scottish Water as a public sector organisation, which has delivered a freeze in water charges for the last four years.”
Richard Ackroyd, Chief Executive of Scottish Water said:
“Scottish Water welcomes the launch of the Water Resources Bill as we work in the spirit of a hydro nation with some of the best quality drinking water in the world.
“We are delivering the investment in the water infrastructure that Scotland needs and the improvements to our service that our customers expect while using our expertise to help a world facing global water issues in water and wastewater.”
Scotland the Hydro Nation Prospectus and Proposals for Legislation Consultation