Hydro Nation: annual report 2020

Records the development of Scotland's Hydro Nation policy agenda and reports on progress since the publication of the sixth annual report in 2019.

Developing the Water Economy Vision

Picture of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP

Introduction by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

I am very pleased to introduce this seventh annual report to the Scottish Parliament on progress in delivering on our vision of Scotland as a Hydro Nation. It goes without saying that 2020 has been an extraordinary year, raising many serious challenges in every aspect of our lives. The water sector is of course not immune to the pressures caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, perhaps more than ever, the importance of water has been heightened in the public mind. The importance of access to safe, reliable sanitation and hygiene has never been clearer and has been illustrated by the role of hand-washing in our fight against the spread of Covid-19. Scottish Water has again shown that it is a robust and resilient organisation, seamlessly continuing to deliver the essential water services on which we all rely. Elsewhere in the sector, businesses have also stepped up to the challenge, with some even changing their processes to enable or increase production of hand sanitiser when it was most needed. All are playing their part as we stand together, as we must, to defeat the virus.

And of course, the other great challenges of our times haven’t gone away; Climate Change remains a significant threat. In August 2020, Scottish Water published its net-zero carbon route-map, setting out the actions it will take across every aspect of its operations to reduce emissions to zero by 2040 and committing to go beyond even that. This is a huge commitment and we should be proud to see Scottish Water setting the bar as a public-sector exemplar.

There are many other excellent examples in this report of how all across Scotland there is action to drive forward the Hydro Nation agenda. No one doubts the value of water to Scotland and we are making good progress to increase that value. I am proud that, in a year of such adversity, the water sector not only continues to flourish but is playing such a significant role in ensuring our future is green, just and sustainable.



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