Scotland the Hydro Nation: annual report 2018

Records the development of our Hydro Nation policy agenda and reports on progress since the publication of the fourth annual report in 2017.

Forward Look

The Hydro Nation Forum met in June 2018 and endorsed the revised Hydro Nation strategy, which sets several areas of focus in the coming year.

Procurement is complete for a new Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service to commence in October 2018. The new service is a partnership of Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, SEPA and Scottish Water Horizons. The aim of the Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service is to help accelerate the route to market for companies developing innovative water technologies. Companies will be able to apply to the Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service, be assessed for their market readiness, and if suitable be referred to the most relevant support from across these public sector agencies. The core of this support is to help companies to take their new products to test and demonstration facilities by supporting trials and providing an independent report on the results of such trials. Successful demonstration of new technologies is an essential part of the commercialisation process for domestic and international markets. Further information is available at

Hydro Nation International: The decentralised waste water treatment system was constructed in the first year of the project (2017/18). The focus in year two will be to test the system and ensure it aligns to the decentralised Waste Water Treatment Works archetype. In addition to baseline monitoring of water consumption and water quality, a new post installation monitoring campaign will begin to assess the effectiveness of each module in terms of reduced water consumption and improved water quality. Work will be initiated on a maintenance/financial plan (including an internship programme) as part of the legacy activities of the project. Communication and dissemination will be an important part of future activities with the launch of the system at a school and community level and wider, high profile, awareness raising at events in Scotland and India.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) is embarking on a new partnership with the Climate Justice Fund Water Futures Programme in Malawi. Hydro Nation already has a strong presence in Malawi through the Climate Justice Fund programme with Strathclyde University, Scottish Water International and other Scottish partners providing support to the Government of Malawi in meeting the requirements of Sustainable Development Goal 6. SEPA will become part of the existing 'Team Scotland' partnership and has a specific mission of helping the Government of Malawi bring its own environmental regulator (the National Water Resources Authority) into operation. Through knowledge-exchange and sharing best practice, SEPA is well placed to help the Government of Malawi shape the formation of the National Water Resources Authority to suit the needs of Malawi.

Scottish Water International refreshed its strategy and identified Europe, Australasia and North America as key target markets and effort will be primarily focussed in these areas in future years. Scottish Water International will also continue to fulfil its contracts and support the Scottish Government and Strathclyde University through the Climate Justice Fund work to support the Government of Malawi to provide safe access to water and sanitation to everyone by 2030.

UNESCO Centre: Scotland is proud to host the only UNESCO Category 2 Centre in the UK. The Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at the University of Dundee is globally recognised as a key research contributor in projects covering a wide variety of topics, including transboundary water governance, integrated water and coastal zone management, ecosystems services, biodiversity, shared groundwater, and is leading work on the groundbreaking Hydro Nation International–funded Ganga River Health Project. We are working with the Centre, building on its international reputation and global reach to consider how to enhance its role in relation to the wider Hydro Nation agenda.

Low Carbon Heat from Waste Water: A new joint venture between Scottish Water Horizons and SHARC Energy Systems, established in March 2018, secured funding from the Scottish Government's Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme ( LCITP) to allow the installation of a sustainable heat from waste water schemes. The first of these schemes is located in Argyll & Bute.

Tapping into Scottish Water's vast sewer network, the innovative SHARC technology can capture residual heat found in waste water and use it to provide low-carbon heating and cooling across various applications.

The £1.1 million project will deliver sustainable heating to the Aqualibrium centre – a library, swimming pool and leisure complex – in Campbeltown, and is only the second project of its type in the UK.

Once commissioned, the new heat recovery system will provide the centre with 95 percent of its heating requirements, whilst using just 25 percent of the energy required by their existing gas system.

Argyll & Bute Council will benefit from a significant reduction in carbon output, bringing environmental benefits to the local community whilst contributing to Scotland's green agenda. The system also reduces the cost of heating when compared to traditional methods, and requires no upfront capital, freeing up funds for the Council to invest in other areas.

Scottish Water Horizons' partnership with SHARC Energy Systems will support the Scottish Government's renewable heat and carbon reduction targets for 2020 and aims to create a pipeline of potential installations at suitable sites across Scotland that, when deployed, could generate 170 GWh annually of heating and cooling to displace the fossil fuel currently used.

Scottish Water is progressing with a £21 million investment in a state of the art waste water treatment works for Inverurie, the first Nereda treatment plant in Scotland. This investment will help to reduce energy usage and carbon footprint, and enable Scottish Water to treat waste water even more effectively. By embracing innovation like this Scottish Water will be using less chemicals, energy and materials, which will benefit their customers. The new works is expected to be in operation in 2019.

Image: Nereda technology was developed by the Dutch company RHDHV, and uses aerobic granular activated sludge to treat waste water to higher standards, using less energy.

Image: Nereda technology was developed by the Dutch company RHDHV, and uses aerobic granular activated sludge to treat waste water to higher standards, using less energy.


Craig McGill

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