The Scottish Government’s intention is that the Bill should set a framework for making the most of Scotland’s water resource, seeking to develop and improve its management as a key part of achieving the Government’s wider Hydro Nation agenda. As such, the Bill proposes legislation across a broad range of topics relating to water and sewerage services in Scotland.

Speaking as the Committee launched its call for evidence, Convener Maureen Watt MSP said: “With this bill, we will be looking to see whether the proposals it contains will deliver the good intentions of Hydro Nation. It is in everyone’s interests that our valuable resources are both protected and utilised appropriately.

“The core role of our Committee is to scrutinise the policies put forward by the Scottish Government that impact on Scotland’s resources, whether natural or man-made. We are asking people to write to us over summer so that we can read and reflect on the evidence before determining who we wish to come in and talk to us in autumn.”

The Committee has issued a detailed call for evidence to help it assess the views of individuals and organisations on the content of the bill, specifically:

• Development of water resources.

• Control of water abstraction.

• Scottish water’s functions.

• Raw water quality.

• Non-domestic services.

• Sewerage quality.

• Water shortages orders.

Included within the bill are specific proposals to create:

• A new duty on the Scottish Ministers to ensure the value of Scotland’s water resources is developed through the Hydro Nation programme and requires them to report to the Scottish Parliament every three years on the fulfilment of that duty.

• A new duty on Scottish Water to promote the use of its assets for the generation of renewable energy, whilst safeguarding the fulfilment of its core water and sewerage functions.

• Additional powers of entry by Scottish Water for the purpose of monitoring the quality of “raw water” (water that may be used for human consumption) and for the purpose of investigating anything that may be affecting the quality of such water.