On the 1 April 2015, Scottish Water began to deliver the investment requirements for the 2015-21 period as directed by Minister on the 1 October 2014. The Outputs Monitoring Group is carefully monitoring the delivery of the improvements in line with Scottish Waters delivery plan and quarterly reports are published on the Scottish Government's website.
In the current regulatory period 2015-21, Scottish Water will invest £3.9 billion in maintaining and replacing their infrastructure and in delivering further improvements to drinking water quality, protecting the environment and supporting the Scottish economy. Since April 2015, Scottish Water has delivered over £2 billion of investment and is investing an average of over £50 million a month.
Scottish Water reported for the financial year 2017-18 that £647 million capital investment has been made and in doing so had delivered a significant contribution towards a number of the Government's key strategic objectives. This investment enabled it to:
- deliver better services to customers;
- improve drinking water quality;
- provide additional capacity to meet the demands of new housing;
- reduce leakage; and
- protect Scotland's environment.
Examples of improvements are:
- levels of customer service for 2017-18 was at an all-time high and is amongst the best in the UK (in 2009-10 Scottish Water ranked amongst the worst);
- environmental compliance has improved significantly over the last five years with significant reductions in numbers of pollution incidents - in 2017-18 there were 191 pollution incidents, 47 fewer than in 2016/17, and compared to 939 in 2009-10;
- drinking water quality has been sustained at a high level - in 2017-18 99.91% of samples taken met strict quality standards;
- Scottish Water supports Scotland's economy by investing over £50 million a month with around 215 businesses employing over 2,220 people including 70 graduates and 96 modern apprentices; and
- Scottish Water is now facilitating enough renewable generation to meet 200% of its electricity requirements.
Scottish Water's investment programme is defined and funded for the period 2015-21. The investment programme is set out in the form of Ministerial Directions and a supporting Technical Expression in the form of a list of outputs.
Scottish Water's Delivery Plan sets out how Scottish Water intends to deliver the investment over the five-year period. The current period ends on 31 March 2021.
The Strategic Review of Charges undertaken by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland was completed on 20 November 2014 when it published its Final Determination of Charges. This determined the amount that customers need to pay in order to deliver the necessary improvements to services. It confirmed the agreement that the Customer Forum had negotiated with Scottish Water on behalf of customers on prices and levels of service represents the lowest overall reasonable cost for customers. The agreement concluded that household charges should not rise by more than the Consumer Prices Index less 1.8% over the six-year period.
The 2015-21 investment plan contains many thousands of projects. In 2018-19, the following key projects were completed:
- official completion in July 2018, of major upgrades to Glasgow's sewerage networks including the £100 million, 3.1 mile long Shieldhall tunnel which supported a team of more than 100 workers;
- in December 2018, Scottish Water completed one of its biggest ever investments in Argyll and Bute, with its new £29 million water treatment works in Oban - its completion means that more than 12,000 customers in the Oban area will continue to enjoy clear, fresh drinking water for years to come.
A number of high profile, complex projects are currently underway including:
Scottish Water is progressing with a £17 million project involving the construction of a one mile–long sewer under the streets of Paisley, which is on track for completion in 2019. Once completed, the project will substantially reduce the frequency of spills from the sewer network into the Espedair Burn and White Cart Water in storm conditions, improving the river water quality in the two watercourses and, in turn, the River Clyde.
Scottish Water is undertaking £15 million investment project in Glasgow's West End to help improve the environment on the River Kelvin. This project will span eleven sites along the Kelvin Walkway from the bandstand in Kelvingrove Park to the Botanic Gardens.
Glasgow's Smart Canal
Scottish Canals, Scottish Water and Glasgow City Council have entered into an agreement to transform North Glasgow into the world's first dynamic canal-based urban surface water management system. The project will use sensors, predictive weather technology and active management of the canal to lower water levels, creating space for surface water run-off. The multi-million pound deal will unlock 110 hectares across the north of the city for investment, regeneration and development, paving the way for more than 3,000 new homes.
Scottish Water is investing £21 million in a new Waste Water Treatment Works within the existing WWTW site at Inverurie. The investment will ensure the site can meet higher environmental standards in the Don and Urie river catchments; and will also provide improved capacity for future development. The site will be the first in Scotland to use the innovative 'Nereda' treatment process, developed in the Netherlands, which has potential to deliver a high standard of treatment within a much reduced site footprint, with lower energy and carbon cost.
South Edinburgh Resilience
A new £20 million clean water main is currently being built to help serve Scotland's Capital city. This 7-mile pipe, which runs between Marchbank WTW and Glencorse WTW through the Pentland Hills, will help ensure 165,000 people in Edinburgh receive a more resilient supply.