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Scottish Water

ADVERTORIAL: Around £1 day doesn’t buy much these days — you wouldn’t get
a takeaway coffee, or a bus ticket, or a newspaper for that.

But around £1 a day is what we pay, on average, for the water
and waste water services provided by Scottish Water to virtually
all of Scotland.

And for that pound we get a long list of things that are essential to
our lives, like taking a shower, washing, cooking, heating our homes
and, of course, having a cup of tea.

It’s a service that many of us take for granted, because we’re used
to our water and waste water services being there all day, every
day. And, as a nation, we are very proud of the clean, clear water
that comes from our taps, especially when we think of tapwater

We also pay our water and waste water charges alongside our
Council Tax bills, which means it’s a bit out of sight, out of mind.
Now though, the service we take for granted is at a crossroads.

Much of the infrastructure, including treatment works and pipe networks,
is getting old and in need of replacement. In fact some of it
dates back to Victorian times.

The other big challenge is climate change. When it comes to water
and waste water services, climate change isn’t some future problem,
it’s a reality that is having an impact right now. More extreme
weather means there’s heavier rain that causes more flooding of
our streets and homes, while drier spells in summer means there’s
less water to use and sometimes the quality of it drops.

For these reasons, publicly-owned Scottish Water is going
through a multi-billion-pound transformation to ensure that it can
continue to deliver the water and waste water services we will rely
on in future.

That transformation includes a big increase in the money to be
invested in new infrastructure, from around £600million a year at
the moment to £1billion a year in future.

And that means that customer charges will need to increase to
pay for that necessary investment.

Douglas Millican, Scottish Water’s chief executive, said: “I am very
proud that we have been recognised as delivering the best customer
service in the UK water sector.

“But to continue to deliver the service that we all rely on we can’t
stand still, we must transform Scottish Water to meet the challenges
of replacing our ageing assets and responding to climate change.
“That will mean higher levels of investment, and while some of
that money will come from us doing things even more efficiently
and some from increased borrowing from the Scottish Government,
it will also mean that charges must go up”.

He added: “I am determined we will make our charge increase
slow and steady and as fair as we can.

“The support of our customers in communities is vital in everything
we do at Scottish Water and I’m asking for their support now
as we build our future water and waste water services together”.