Scotland The Hydro Nation - Second Annual Report - Developing the Water Economy
Introduction by Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities
I am very pleased to introduce this second annual report to Parliament of progress on Scotland: The Hydro Nation. This has been a significant year for this important agenda with key elements of our strategy being delivered in support of our aim of growing the value of Scotland's water resources.
In May 2015, we welcomed in the region of 1,000 delegates to the XVth World Water Congress and side events, providing a unique opportunity to share, and add to, Scotland's knowledge with a wide range of water experts from across the globe. We will seek to build relationships with many of them to explore areas of mutual interest and build strategic partnerships which will have a positive impact on our domestic economy as well as raising our international profile as a trusted partner in tackling some of the most serious water resource management issues around the world. During the Congress, we announced the award of the contract for the Hydro Nation Innovation Service ( HNWIS) - a key plank in our strategy. The Service is being delivered by a business-led consortium with the aim of increasing innovation in the sector and supporting greater collaboration. I wish them every success and look forward to the many positive impacts this initiative is expected to bring.
We have continued to develop our research base and to support Scottish businesses at home and abroad. Our publicly-owned utility, Scottish Water has released another impressive annual report and results, underlining excellent performance to the benefit of consumers and the overarching economy of Scotland.
The Hydro Nation Forum continues to provide a helpful and constructive role in supporting the development of Scotland The Hydro Nation. The Forum has shown it is not afraid to look at itself and is working to ensure its structures support and develop the agenda as effectively as possible.
As we look forward, we will continue to focus Hydro Nation's efforts on a strong water economy that benefits Scotland, supporting continued improvements to domestic service at home, particularly in the area of rural supply, and to new developments with key international partners.
Scotland: The Hydro Nation - Second Annual Report - summary of activity
Developing our industry:
Having identified the water industry as a distinct priority focus area, our Enterprise Agencies continue to develop dedicated programmes of activity and support, focussing on innovation and growth, and are working closely with the new Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service, which was launched earlier this year
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is working with DEFRA and other UK Verification bodies (including EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre Orkney) to support the European Commission Environmental Technology Verification ( ETV) Pilot Programme.
We are continuing to develop our specialised research capacity and have welcomed a further cohort to join the Hydro Nation Scholars Programme.
Scottish Water is on track to facilitating more energy generation across its estate than it consumes by 2018 - contributing to lower costs for customers and enhanced service resilience.
With our partners we are prioritising work in support of Sustainable Rural Communities, developing a comprehensive research and pilot project programme to address key policy challenges of rural service provision and the recovery of priority substances.
Scottish Water recently successfully transferred redundant assets to the local community in Sunart for the development of renewable energy. We will work with Scottish Water and other key partners to identify and develop mechanisms to deliver similar results in other rural communities.
Growing our international reputation:
We hosted the XVth World Water Congress in Edinburgh in May 2015 - with significant input from Scottish institutions and partners including Scottish Water.
The Water Industry Commission for Scotland ( WICS) is playing a leading role with European partners as an adviser and as a senior supporter of a new water regulators network - WAREG - and hosted the network's meeting during the XVth World Water Congress.
Hydro Nation support for the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund is improving lives in Malawi, where 30,000 people now have access to safe, clean drinking water as a result of our intervention.
We have exported Scottish Water expertise to operators abroad, including in Canada, Poland and Qatar.
Email: Catherine McKenna, Catherine.McKenna@gov.scot