Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Government seeks talks with Scotland over water sharing

The UK government has confirmed that it is willing to discuss how Scotland’s plentiful water resources may help the continuing pressure on water supplies in South East England.

The move comes after Scottish cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment Alex Neil wrote to the UK Government to offer Scottish assistance on water supply in the long term, if it could be commercially and practically viable.

The UK has responded by seeking exploratory talks with Scottish Government officials.

Neil revealed the UK government’s response at the Making Scotland a Hydro Nation Conference in Edinburgh yesterday.

“I am pleased that the UK Government has responded positively to our offer,” he said. “Even as some hosepipe bans are lifted, the South of England continues to face real issues with water supply, which look set to continue well into the future.

“Scotland has a plentiful supply of water and superb industry expertise so it was only right that we offered our assistance.

“Of course, we readily acknowledge there are massive logistical issues, and there will need to be major developments to ensure the transfer of water is commercially viable. But this is a government that thinks long term.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • At last some clear thinking on the distribution of water to benefit those parts of the country facing drought conditions in the long term. There are many single hulled tankers tied up across the world that could be used in the interim to carry water from Scotland to South East England and even parts of Africa, if there is a willingness so to do. Whilst this might be considered fanciful, just contemplate the numbers of supertankers that shuttle oil and gas around the globe to satisfy energy demands and then acknowledge that water is at least as valuable as oil, and more so in many parts of Africa and elsewhere. Water carrying ships could provide relief in the short to medium term and until massive pipelines can be constructed for permanent supplies.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sadly this really is a fanciful idea. The costs of either tankering or pipelines and pumping would be prohibitive. There are more affordable local solutions such as the four reservoirs proposed at the last Price Review by Thames Water, South East Water(2) and Portsmouth Water, but these were all opposed by the Environment Agency as being unnecessary.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.