Hydro Nation – National: Supporting Communities and Scotland's Water Economy
Our water sector, including Scottish Water, is worth an estimated £1.8 billion  per annum to the Scottish Economy. That value can be increased through our actions to improve Scotland's capacity for innovative technological development; effective knowledge transfer across the industry; and ensuring focussed support for our water sector companies. We can also create value from our respected leadership in our unique governance of our water industry. We are also promoting the need for sustainable water efficiency measures.
Provision of high-quality rural services in remote or sparsely populated areas presents distinctive challenges in many parts of the world, including here at home. Scotland is developing innovative approaches to demonstrate our resilience to these challenges. Our work will capitalise on advances in technology; catchment management techniques; supporting Communities' participation; raising quality standards & protecting the environment by supporting businesses to deliver within our valued sustainable service.
Key to our National Strategy is to ensure that, as the sector grows, we support local communities, businesses, and entrepreneurs to develop their own, and share in our, sustainable approach. Below are some examples of how we are delivering in practice.
Rural Service Provision for drinking & waste water
The rural provision workstreams have made strong progress both in terms of new research and policy development. The latest news is that we have installed a range of individual property or small community supply water treatment technologies at the Gorthleck innovation test centre for evaluation. This practical step will provide vital data to help us develop future options, both financial and technical, for supporting private and small rural public supplies. We are continuing to build our knowledge through new research of the key criteria that should be considered when looking at the impact of water supplies within rural communities again to better design and target new water infrastructure in rural areas. Work is also ongoing to consider the potential for new wastewater treatment approaches in rural areas.
Hydro Nation Commercial and Advisory Services
The Hydro Nation Commercial group was set up by the Scottish Government in November 2016 to explore the potential for better alignment and collaboration across key public sector partner organisations who are either actively providing, or have an interest in providing, commercial and advisory services linked to their responsibilities, skills and knowledge in respect of aspects of water resources, and consider the most appropriate structures to support their activity. The Group, which is chaired by Scottish Government, comprises Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland, Scottish Water International, Scottish Natural Heritage, Drinking Water Quality Regulator, The James Hutton Institute, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service, Zero Waste Scotland and Forest Enterprise Scotland. Now identified as Hydro Nation Commercial and Advisory Services ( HNCAS), this workstream is a central part of the Hydro Nation strategy to develop economic opportunities and support knowledge exchange.
Scottish Water: delivering for you
With more than 60,000 miles of pipes and 2,000 treatment works, Scottish Water supports communities the length and breadth of Scotland. In providing essential services to customers, Scottish Water recognises that its activities and operations can be visible in the communities it serves. That is why Scottish Water works very hard to ensure it is responsive and sensitive to the needs of its customers in communities - in every corner of Scotland. Scottish Water aims to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget – leading to happier customers and building a legacy of future goodwill and trust.
Scottish Water's approach is to identify where, how and who the work needed in that community will impact on and ensure early notification/involvement with all those involved. Before it starts work, Scottish Water think about what it wants the community to look like when it leaves and understands how it wants people within the community to feel about Scottish Water. By involving those affected by work in the community at the earliest possible stage, it can find mutually acceptable solutions and build a shared understanding of the outcomes.
Scottish Water has been rolling out a suite of new community engagement materials and improved signage to highlight where it is carrying out work in the community. This is aimed at building customer recognition and trust.
Scottish Water identifies and promotes opportunities to show it is a good neighbour/member of the community through, for example, support for local partnerships and initiatives, volunteering, education programme and community renewables initiatives. By ensuring that everything it does and everyone involved plays their part in creating a positive, long-lasting legacy from Scottish Water's work in Scotland's communities, it ensures communities are at the heart of its business.
Scottish Water aim to build goodwill and trust by minimising inconvenience when carrying out essential work and ultimately ensuring the benefits of the investment leaves a positive and long-lasting legacy in the community.
Scottish Water has signed up to the Social Impact Pledge, an initiative aimed at increasing the social impact of public sector organisations across Scotland. In the next six months, it will do at least three new things to improve social impact. Firstly, it has launched an Adopt a Beach Campaign, which encourages employee volunteers to help protect and enhance the environment by caring for Scotland's coastline. Secondly, the Cycle campaign, which encourages customers to play their part in preventing blocked drains and sewers, will focus on customers and communities where Scottish Water is building or upgrading wastewater infrastructure. Thirdly, Scottish Water will work with local communities to improve the visitor experience for those visiting the most popular reservoirs for recreational purposes.
Water Industry Commission for Scotland ( WICS) – National efforts to support Hydro Nation and community focus for 2021-27 Strategic Review of Charges ( SRC)
In its methodology for the 2021-27 SRC, WICS outlined its proposals to encourage a more community focused approach to customer involvement. In the 2021-27 SRC the Customer Forum will have a broader remit to reach out to communities across Scotland to understand their priorities and ensure their interests are represented in Scottish Water's Business Plan.
The OECD will conduct a peer review of the 2021-27 SRC, drawing upon best practice principles for effective water governance. The OECD will support the development of behavioural insights to be applied to the customer research and will review approaches to capital maintenance in other regulated industries. The peer review will provide other OECD Network of European Regulators ( NER) members with a learning opportunity, promote internationally the Scottish model and contribute to improving WICS' regulatory approach in line with international best practice.
Email: Craig McGill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House