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.

Annex A: Structure of Governance


Structures of Governance - Domestic Market


Structures of Governance - Retail (Business) Market


Central Market Agency ( CMA) – On 1 April 2008, competition was introduced into the water industry in Scotland for retail (business) customers. The CMA is the organisation that administers the retail market for water and waste water services in Scotland. They are a company limited by guarantee and owned by its members.

The Consumer Futures Unit ( CFU) of Citizens Advice Scotland ( CAS) represents water consumers, and is a key partner in many areas of policy development. They are responsible for:

  • Advocacy - to provide advice and information, make proposals and represent the views of consumers to Ministers, regulators, European Institutions and other relevant bodies.
  • Evidence – conducting research to obtain information about consumer matters and consumers' views on those matters.
  • Empowerment – facilitating the dissemination of advice and information to consumers

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA) is the representative voice of Scottish local government. Local Authorities provide the collection and billing for water and sewerage services on behalf of Scottish Water for all domestic (and non-metered) customers.

The Customer Forum was established to participate in the price setting process for 2015-2021 in order to provide customers with a stronger voice and to secure the most appropriate outcome for customers.

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator ( DWQR) is responsible for monitoring and confirming that the drinking water supplied by Scottish Water through the public water mains system meets the requirements of the drinking water quality regulations and is safe to drink. DWQR also advises Ministers on the delivery of and the need for future investment in drinking water quality.

Licence Providers ( LPs) – Retail (Business) customers are able to choose who supplies their water and sewerage services. All water and sewerage service providers are licensed and are therefore known as Licensed Providers.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) is responsible for ensuring that Scottish Water meets strict environmental requirements. SEPA also advises Ministers on the delivery of and the need for future investment in environmental improvements.

The Scottish Government – Scottish Ministers and their officials manage the relationship with Scottish Water and its regulators within the statutory framework established under the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002. Scottish Ministers set the objectives for the industry (as set out in the Ministerial Directions available here) and the principles that should underpin charges (as set out in the Principles of Charging Statement available here). More information about our role can be found on our website.

The Scottish Parliament scrutinises the work of the Scottish Government and its public bodies, and hold them to account. Both the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament are accountable to the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman ( SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about Local Authorities, most water providers, the Scottish Government and its agencies and departments. If customers have, complaints they should in the first instance try to resolve that with the organisation they have a complaint about. However, if they remain dissatisfied they may be able to raise their issue with the SPSO.

Scottish Water is a public corporation accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. The service Scottish Water provides to 2.52 million households and 153,000 business premises is essential to daily life in Scotland. Every day, Scottish Water delivers 1.38 billion litres of clear, fresh drinking water and takes away 929 million litres of waste water that Scottish Water treats and returns safely to the environment. With more than 60,000 miles of pipes and 2,000 treatment works, Scottish Water supports communities the length and breadth of Scotland every day. In providing these essential services to customers, Scottish Water recognises these activities and operations can be visible in the communities it serves. That is why Scottish Water work very hard to ensure it is responsive and sensitive to the needs of its customers in the community in every corner of Scotland and aims to put communities at the heart of the business.

Scottish Water Horizons Ltd is a commercial subsidiary wholly owned by Scottish Water. The company plays a key role in supporting the development of Scotland's sustainable and circular economy by making the most of the public utility's vast array of assets. From generating renewable energy from wind, solar power and waste water to recycling food waste and facilitating industry innovation, Scottish Water Horizons is helping Scotland meet its renewable targets, reduce carbon emissions and support sustainable development. The company's growth strategy is to support Scotland as a developing Hydro Nation and take opportunities to harness Scottish Water's asset base through both its own development and working in partnership with other organisations including the public and private sectors.

Scottish Water International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scottish Water, delivering reputational-enhancing projects. Drawing on its experience of the remarkable transformation in the water industry in Scotland, Scottish Water International offer services to utilities, governments and other clients from around the world, including the Middle East, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Scottish Water International's team of high calibre in-house consultants offer services to support utilities transform their efficiency and service, with specific focus on:

  • Operations and maintenance advice and support, including training and strategic advice;
  • Asset management and capital investment governance;
  • Regulatory and financial restructuring for public utilities; and
  • Customer satisfaction and customer engagement strategic advice.

The Water Industry Commission for Scotland ( WICS) has the statutory duty to set price limits for Scottish Water based on the lowest overall reasonable cost of achieving Ministers' Objectives for the water industry. There is a competitive market for the provision of retail services to business and public sector customers in Scotland. All retailers must be licensed by WICS and a list of licensed providers is available from its website. For further information on retail competition for non-domestic customers, please see the Scotland on Tap website (available here).

Scottish Canals looks after Scotland's canals, conserving them as part of our heritage, and transforming them to play a vital role in Scotland today.


Craig McGill

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