Scottish Water

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Scottish Water
Type Statutory corporation
Industry Water industry
Founded 2002
Headquarters Dunfermline, Scotland, UK
Area served Scotland
Key people
  • Ronnie Mercer (Chairman);
  • Douglas Millican (CEO);
Production output
  • 2.3 Gl/day (drinking)
  • 0.84 Gl/day (recycled)
  • £1.0 billion

Scottish Water is a statutory corporation[1] in Scotland that provides water and sewerage services. It is accountable to the public through the Scottish Government.


Scottish Water provides drinking water to 2.45 million households and 154,000 business customers in Scotland.[2] Every day it supplies 1.3 billion litres of drinking water and takes away 840 million litres of waste water from customers' properties[3] and treats it before returning it to the environment.

Regulated Services[edit]

Scottish Water operates under a regulatory framework established by the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 allowing an economic regulator, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, to set the cost of the service independently.[4] The Water Industry Commission for Scotland establishes the "lowest overall reasonable cost" through a benchmarking exercise with private water companies operating in England and Wales. Scottish Water has a right of appeal against this price setting process through a reference to the UK Competition Commission. In 2013-2014 the charge for an average household bill was around £334.[5]

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency also regulate Scottish Water. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman represents the interest of Scottish Water's customers and has powers to investigate complaints.[6]

Water quality[edit]

A waste water treatment works

Scottish Water is bench marked against the performance of private water companies in England and Wales (however in Wales it is run by a 'not for profit' company). In the year 2012–2013 they reported outcomes that were comparable with recent performance by leading water companies in England and Wales, as well undertaking a major investment programme.[7]


The authority was founded in 2002 by a merger of West of Scotland Water Authority, East of Scotland Water Authority and North of Scotland Water Authority under the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002, an Act of the Scottish Parliament.[8]

It has a headquarters in Dunfermline and offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.[9] 3,600 people are employed across the organisation.[2] It has an annual turnover of around £1bn and is funded by charges paid by its customers. Part of its long term capital expenditure is funded by long term loans from the Scottish Government.

Juniper House, Edinburgh

National policy is determined by the Scottish Government, to whom the authority reports. The Scottish Government has consulted as to how Scottish Water can work together with Scottish Canals and Caledonian Maritime Assets to achieve additional public benefit from all Scotland's water-related infrastructure, both inland and maritime.[10]


  1. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons - Public Accounts - Forty-Second Report". Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Annual report and accounts: 2013/14". Scottish Water. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "About us". Scottish Water. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005". National Archives. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "You and your home: 2013-14 charges". Scottish Water. Retrieved 8 September. 
  6. ^ "How to complain: Water and sewerage service complaints". Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Scottish Water’s Performance 2012-13". Water Industry Commission for Scotland. November 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002". National Archives. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "About us: key facts". Scottish Water. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Building a Hydro Nation - a Consultation". Scottish Government. December 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 

External links[edit]