England accepts water talks
The UK Government has confirmed that it is willing to discuss how Scotland’s plentiful water resources may help the continuing pressure on water supplies in South East England.
Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, recently wrote to the UK Government to offer Scottish assistance on water supply in the long term, if it could be commercial and practically viable.
The UK has responded by seeking exploratory talks with Scottish Government officials.
Speaking at the Making Scotland a Hydro Nation Conference in Edinburgh, Mr Neil also restated the importance of maintaining Scottish Water as a publicly owned corporation.
Mr Neil said:
“I am pleased that the UK Government has responded positively to our offer.
“Even as some hose pipe bans are lifted, the South of England continues to face real issues with water supply, which look set to continue well into the future.
“Scotland has a plentiful supply of water and superb industry expertise so it was only right that we offered our assistance.
“Of course, we readily acknowledge there are massive logistical issues, and there will need to be major developments to ensure the transfer of water is commercially viable. But this is a Government that thinks long term and our Hydro Nation agenda is ambitious and offers huge opportunities in this area.
“Scottish Water has transformed in performance terms over the last 10 years, developing into an organisation that has garnered plaudits from across the world.
“That is why the Scottish Government is committed to keeping Scottish Water as a publicly owned corporation serving the needs of the Scottish people.”
Mr Neil first wrote to the UK Government in March: