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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18516: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 3 September 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that many households were without water over the summer as they were dependant on private supplies, what action it is taking to improve the water infrastructure in rural areas.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 13 September 2018

The Scottish Government continues to work closely with SEPA, Scottish Water, local authorities and others to ensure that those on private water supplies are supported through the unusually dry conditions we experienced this summer. In particular, the Scottish Government agreed to provide additional funding to local authorities in order to mitigate the cost of providing emergency supplies of water.

The Scottish Government continues to monitor the water scarcity situation carefully and, as we do following any significant disruption, will carefully review the issues that arose during the summer to see what lessons can be learned. In particular we will consider how private water supplies can be made more resilient to unusual events in future.

In relation to infrastructure improvements, the Scottish Government funds a non-means tested grant of up to £800 per household to support improvements to private water supplies. Advice on the improvements required and how to access the funding should be sought from the relevant local authority. In relation to public supplies, Scottish Water continues to invest in water supplies, including in rural areas, to ensure improve the quality and resilience of services.

We are currently consulting on the investment priorities for the water industry for the period 2021-27 and welcome views on how infrastructure should be provided in rural areas. The consultation closes on 28 September 2018.