Scotland's water sector will 'inspire a generation'
Scotland's water sector will be admired for excellence, secure a sustainable future and inspire a generation, delegates heard at the WWT Water Scotland Conference last week.
Jon Rathjen, water industry team leader at the Scottish Government told the conference that ‘excellence, sustainability and inspiration’ will be absolutely key in Scotland’s SR21 plans, and that they ‘will deliver’.
Delegates heard that although Scotland has done a great job on sustainability so far, there is a planned programme of activity and investment that will ensure the country reaches its long-term ambitions. The government is committed to ensuring that Scotland is at net-zero emissions by 2040, and ensuring a 75% reduction by 2030. Rathjen said: “We have to accelerate to achieve our longer-term targets, and business as usual will simply not do.”
Other commitments include establishing a Hydro Nation chair to drive forward water related research in a climate changing world, and Scottish Water hosting or generating 300% of its energy requirements by 2030.
Simon Parsons, director of strategic customer service planning at Scottish Water, said: “Scottish Water will have to transform due to climatic threats to services to support a flourishing Scotland. We will change how we work to live within the means of our planet’s resources.”
Later, the conference heard from Mark Dickson, director of capital investment at Scottish Water who said that a £3.9 billion investment had been made in their SR15 capital programme, including 2,500 projects delivered with communities and customers. Nevertheless, they will need to invest more in the future to increase productivity, embrace digital, reduce waste, enhance water quality and ultimately drive innovation.
The conference also heard that Scottish Water will be looking to transform its approach to asset management by continuing to improve the information collected and decision-making capabilities, as well as replace ageing assets.
David Satti, assistant director at the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, said: “If we don’t begin to make a transition on asset replacement now, we risk pushing these costs onto future generations.
“Scottish Water estimates that it invests around £245m replacing its assets every year, the demands on investment are increasing, as are the solutions. Developing a framework for planning and prioritising investment will be crucial.”
With big sustainability and asset management targets, the industry can expect more investment and innovation in SR21 and big opportunities for the water sector in Scotland.
The WWT Water Scotland Conference was held in Glasgow on 2 October and was sponsored by Atkins, Caledonia Water Alliance and Morrison Construction.
Report by Emma Lawson.
- Households could lose up to £1000 from nationalisation, study claims Households in the UK could lose an average of nearly £1,000 each under Labour's nationalisation plans, according to a new... Read More >
- Webinar on demand: Land use reform ‘vital' to sustainability agenda Land use reform will be vital to the UK's future carbon cutting efforts, according to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s director of... Read More >
- Environment Bill: protection of water resources key The government has unveiled a raft of new policies in its Environment Bill, with the protection of water resources sitting... Read More >
- Reaching net carbon zero In summer 2019, the water industry committed to reach net carbon zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious aim and... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Refining water quality management As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Nadine Buddoo looks at why maintaining water quality is a fundamental... Read More >
- AMP7: putting the customer centre stage 2020 marks the beginnings of a new chapter for clients and contractors in the water industry with the start of AMP7, the... Read More >
- The price of water As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Robin Hackett looks at whether low water bills can be maintained long term Read More >