Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said the Water Resources (Scotland) Bill aims to cement Scotland's global reputation as home to a dynamic, world class water industry with knowledge and expertise in water management.
“Scotland’s water is one of our prize natural resources. That is why this new legislation will draw together Scottish expertise to build an international profile of Scotland as a leading player in the water sector.
“Just as Scotland is demonstrating world leadership in tackling climate change and protecting natural resources, we can demonstrate leadership in meeting the challenges and opportunities that the water industry presents across the world.
"It will build on Scottish Water's success as a public sector organisation ensuring it makes best use of its assets for commercial purposes and accelerates renewable energy development.
“We will actively support our water industry including our many SME water businesses to develop in both domestic and export markets.”
Welcoming the bill, SNP MSP Aileen McLeod, member of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment committee, said:
“Scotland is a water-rich country and the water quality is amongst the best in the world.
“That is why I welcome this bill that will allow us to make provision for the development of our water resources.
“The quality of Scotland's water is important not only to industries such as whisky production, agriculture and aquaculture, it is also vital for protecting the health of people who drink it, eat food produced in it and swim in it.
“Thanks to this bill Scotland’s water will have a sustainable future – which further demonstrates the SNP Government’s commitment to a low carbon economy and job creation.
“The introduction of this bill is simply one step the SNP is taking to make Scotland a world-leading hydro nation.
Ms McLeod added:
“We already have a skilled industry with knowledge and expertise in water management but this bill allows us to build on Scottish Water's success as a public sector organisation.
“It will ensure Scottish Water makes best use of its assets for commercial purposes and accelerates renewable energy development.”
The bill can be found here - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/52620.aspx