Water & Waste roundup

Ownership of a Fife reservoir has been transferred to the local community under the first ‘right to buy’ initiative of its kind in Scotland. The people of Newburgh and surrounding area overwhelmingly backed a proposal to take ownership of Lochmill Reservoir, built in 1951 and which was formerly used by Scottish Water as the area’s main source of drinking water. With support from the Community Land Fund, locals will now take control of the reservoir, which is a peaceful haven for wildlife and for those who like quiet walks in the country.

In a report on water industry regulation National Audit Office has estimated that water companies made net windfall gains of at least £800M between 2010 and 2015; companies gained around £410M from lower than expected corporation tax rates and £840M from lower than expected interest rates, but absorbed costs and provided water bill discounts worth up to £435 million over the same period. 

Selling Wales' water would be worth hundreds of millions of pounds, a former utilities company boss has said. John Elfed Jones, former chairman of Welsh Water, said there was an opportunity for the nation to profit but that currently Wales is not allowed to transfer water to England for profit. Jones told the BBC's Newyddion9 programme: "There's an innate value in the water. It's the same as saying there's no right to make profit from oil in Scotland.”