Wednesday, 14 November 2012
"Be a part of Scottish Water’s future" says utility
A major consultation encouraging customers to help shape the future of water services in Scotland between now and 2040 was launched today. Scottish Water is setting out plans to ensure it can continue providing high quality drinking water to all customers, protect and enhance the environment, support the economy, communities and invest in future water services across Scotland. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is encouraging everyone to have their say in the consultation. The consultation document identifies potential challenges and opportunities – such as climate change, population change and developments in science and technology – which could arise in the next 25 years. The utility wants to hear customers’ views on the extent to which it should prioritise taking steps to protect water supplies from service interruptions and reduce flooding. Customers are also asked about future charge levels and the extent to which they would like to see service improvements in return. Douglas Millican, Interim Chief Executive of Scottish Water, said: “Scottish Water is a success story. In 10 years we've transformed the delivery of water services in Scotland with improved customer service, the lowest average household charges in the UK, water quality at its highest ever level and operating costs reduced by 40%. “We provide significant investment every year which supports thousands of construction jobs across Scotland, as well as improving services for customers. “But we are not complacent and, through this major consultation, we want to hear whether customers think we have identified the right priorities to build on our successes in the years ahead. “We need to think now about the challenges and opportunities that may arise between now and 2040, as well as steps we might need to take to ensure water services and supplies are resilient and continue to be of the highest possible quality for all our customers – from Stranraer to Shetland.” One of Scottish Water’s proposals is to explore the development of new water connections between supply systems for larger communities. Mr Millican added: “We are developing plans to ensure water services in Scotland are ready for the future. This is absolutely essential so that we can continue providing high quality drinking water to customers, protect and enhance the environment, support the economy and communities and invest in future water services. “For example, we are exploring the development of new water connections as a possible way of ensuring we can supply all customers with water - wherever and whenever it is needed. While Scotland generally has plentiful supply of fresh drinking water, there can from time to time be challenges such as periods of dry weather in parts of the country. New connections could help us move water around more easily to where it is needed. “We also want to listen to customers’ views about future charge levels and the extent to which they would like to see service improvements in return. “By having their say now, customers can help us make the right decisions to shape the future of water services in Scotland.” Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s water is one of our prize assets and we are fortunate to have a beautiful water environment and, in Scottish Water, a highly successful public corporation. “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. “How we manage this rich natural resource is incredibly important and we’d urge everyone to have their say in Scottish Water’s consultation.” Peter Peacock, Customer Forum Chair, said: “Water is an essential service that we all depend on and pay for. And in Scotland all of our public drinking water and sewerage services are provided by one utility, Scottish Water. That’s why it is absolutely vital that people have a say in how much it costs and what exactly they are paying for. I encourage everyone to get involved now to help Scottish Water ensure its plans for the future reflect what matters most to customers.” A dedicated consultation website has been launched with useful information for customers, interactive options and a video - HYPERLINK "http://www.scottishwater.co.uk/yourviewscount" www.scottishwater.co.uk/yourviewscount Alternatively customers can have their say by writing to: Freepost RTBT-EEXB-EJRT, Scottish Water, Daldowie Office, Uddingston, Glasgow, G71 7RX The consultation runs from November 14 until February 12, 2013, after which Scottish Water will review customer feedback to help shape its final strategic projections and business plan for 2015-20, which will be published in October 2013.