12/06/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2018 09:01
A new partnership to enhance water management across Edinburgh and the Lothians has been launched.
Scottish Water, Scottish Government, SEPA and local authorities across the region have joined forces to plan for future growth and changes in climate that impact on how the area's waste water and surface water is processed.
The new partnership will work together to find innovative and effective ways to tackle rainwater management, flooding, flood risk and growth that will impact the areas infrastructure.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: 'I am delighted to see another of our Programme for Government commitments being implemented so quickly.
'Recently, I switched on Scottish Water's first public water refill point in our planned network and Scottish Water have again acted quickly to bring together local authorities in the Edinburgh and Lothian's area, along with SEPA, to review future drainage and waste water treatment needs in order to guide future investment planning.'
'This new drainage partnership will follow the successful collaborative approach we've seen in Glasgow, bring new drainage solutions for a growing population and help us move towards our Blue Green Cities vision.'
One of the specific areas the partnership will be looking at ways to transform how the decision makers in the area think about drainage and waste water systems and how rainfall could be managed to provide growth capacity, manage flood risk, improve water quality and mitigate climate change impacts.
They will look at ways to try and retain more water in rivers and soils to improve the environment and support biodiversity while increasing leisure and activity potential and take steps towards the growing trend of Blue-Green cities. These look to recreate a naturally orientated water cycle by bringing water management and green infrastructure together. It combines and protects the hydrological and ecological values of urban landscapes while providing resilient and adaptive measures to deal with flood events.
Douglas Millican, Chief Executive of Scottish Water, said: 'We are developing our long term strategies for the provision of water and waste water services and want to continue to consult with our customers and stakeholders.
'We know there will be pressures from climate change, population growth and our aging assets and we need to look at how to address these to ensure we continue to deliver services our customers expect.'
'We hope this partnership will help us fully understand the long term pressures in these areas and help develop options and solutions for the future in Edinburgh and the Lothians.'
The local authorities which have joined the partnership are City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council and Midlothian Council. Representatives from all three authorities will be taking part in the discussions to develop and implement blue-green solutions in their areas.
Terry A'Hearn, SEPA's Chief Executive, said: 'Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland's environment by helping communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet.'
'The only successful towns and cities in the future will be those which plan for sustainable water management today. If we put water right at the heart of our thinking when we design new places, we will live in better and more resilient environments. This can only be done in partnership and we look forward to getting started.'