SCOTTISH Water’s £11.5 million investment to improve the natural environment of the River Tweed, including a stretch in Berwickshire, is in full flight.
Investment at seven waste water treatment works from Cardrona to Hawick will improve the quality of the Tweed, supporting the economic growth and development of the Borders economy.
These projects will be delivered by Solutions, a joint venture partnership between Scottish Water and some of the world’s leading construction, engineering and water companies. The delivery vehicle will construct hundreds of projects across Scotland, as part of Scottish Water’s £2.5 billion investment programme over the next five years.
Brian Jamieson, Scottish Water Solution’s senior construction manager on the River Tweed Project said: “This programme of work will deliver long term benefits to the Tweed and many of its tributaries over the next few years. Scottish Water’s £11 million investment will deliver important environmental benefits and play a part in supporting the important local tourism economy.
“The Tweed is one of Scotland’s most renowned rivers and is known as a mecca for anglers the world over for the quality of its salmon. Fishing on the Tweed, for both humans and ospreys alike, relies on high water quality in order to make the significant £18 million contribution to the Borders economy, supporting the equivalent of around 500 full time jobs.”
Current progress on the river project includes work at Swinton to improve the Leet Water which flows into the Tweed.
This project will see improvements to existing equipment, some of which dates back around 30 years.
Gary Nuss, Scottish Water Solutions chief operating officer said: “This vital programme of work is being delivered by the Solutions partnership which utilises not only Scottish Water’s expertise, but that of its partners – comprising some of the world’s leading civil engineering and construction firms.
“This knowledge base is helping to drive Scottish Water to new heights, recording the best first year of a capital investment programme ever.
“In the last year more than £443 million was invested. Across the country Scottish Water is using new thinking to deliver such projects more efficiently, helping to keep costs low for customers, ensuring customer charges remain steady.
Scotland has around 2,000 rivers and nearly 50,000 square kilometres of coastal and estuarine waters, and more than 300 lochs. The quality of these waters is vital to a number of important traditional industries including whisky production, agriculture, fishing and tourism.
Bill Elliot, Scottish Water’s regional community manager for the Borders said: “Across Scotland, we are listening to our customers and delivering the real benefits that they tell us they need.
“Our investment to improve the natural environment of the River Tweed is incredibly important not only for the local community and local wildlife, including ospreys, but also for the vital tourism economy of the area.
“Scottish Water is playing its part to support the economic growth and development of communities the length and breadth of Scotland.
“During our current funding period Scottish Water will deliver around £2.5 billion of investment, while supporting 25 per cent of Scotland’s construction industry. We are delivering clearer, fresher drinking water and improving Scotland’s natural environment, tackling leakage and improving service to our customers.
“This comes at a time when we are keeping the average household bill less than £1 a day, the third lowest such charge in the UK.”