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Scottish water authorities seek savings with merger


SCOTLAND'S THREE water authorities are likely to be merged following a recommendation by the Scottish Executive's transport and environment committee last week.

The Executive approved plans to merge the current east, west and north of Scotland authorities into one 'Scottish Water' by April 2002.

The move is expected to save over £100M a year by 2005 in asset management and billing, reducing the impact of planned increased investment on the customer.

'It will create a more level playing field so any potential (price) increases will be spread across the country, ' said an Executive spokeswoman.

The move would also improve competition between Scotland's and England's water authorities when supplying large factories.

And this could apply to domestic supply if common carriage follows.

However, she added that job losses were likely: 'Essentially there will be economies of scale but to what extent we don't know.' The move has yet to be approved by the Scottish Parliament.

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