8. To ask the Scottish Government what plans are in place to eliminate any spillages of sewage from the sewer network into rivers and lochs. (S6O-02060)
As I have reported previously to Parliament, the river basin management plans set out our long-term aims for improving our water environment. The plans are supported by Scottish Water’s “Improving urban waters” route map, which commits to £500 million of investment to improve waste water treatment works, address unsatisfactory discharges and increase monitoring. Scottish Water published its first annual report on progress against the route map in December 2022, and that is on its website.
I understand that Scottish Water has committed to installing a further 10,000 spill monitors by the end of 2024. Can the minister advise what support the Scottish Government is providing Scottish Water to achieve that?
In line with its improving urban waters route map, Scottish Water has identified the priority locations for 1,000 new CSO monitors, and installation will be completed by the end of 2024. Scottish Water’s investment programme is supported by up to £1.3 billion of lending from the Scottish Government across the 2021-27 period.
This week, we mark world water day and Scotland’s role as a hydro nation, and I put on record my thanks to everybody who works in Scotland’s water industry. It has seen our overall water quality at 66 per cent, compared with the equivalent figure of just 16 per cent in England; we have 99 per cent of bathing waters now classified as “sufficient” or better; and £147 million is to be invested in further waste water improvements by 2027.