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The Scottish public sector is on track to save £36 million from its water bills – the same as the annual cost for school meals for almost 110,000 school children, 1400 teachers or more than 1500 police officers, according to Business Stream.
Scotland’s largest water and waste water provider has been working in partnership with the public sector for the last four years and has helped it access new discounts and money-saving water efficiency measures.
The company has created an infographic to visually represent the savings as they relate to frontline services to illustrate the real-world benefits of water savings.
Jo Dow, finance director of Business Stream, said public bodies could cut bills further by bringing in measures including water recycling, leak detection and benchmarking water use against comparable organisations.
She said: “The Scottish public sector has been presented with the very tough challenge of reducing budgets in the face of increasing demand for public services. Public sector organisations are also expected to lead the way in reducing their environmental impact of which water efficiency plays a key part.
“That’s a very hard equation to balance but our customers across the NHS, emergency services, education, local authorities and more have demonstrated a real appetite for new ways to make water work harder for them.
“Our infographic shows the theoretical impact of that by linking the savings made by the public sector and the frontline public services which help those organisations do their jobs effectively. We’re working closely with public sector organisations across Scotland, and they’re asking us for new ways to save water and money, and reduce the amount of time they need to devote to water and waste water services.”
Across the public sector, Business Stream serves 210 customers over 14,500 sites, and a multitude of different services.
The company has also invested in helping public bodies access savings from water efficiency measures. In partnership with Glasgow City Council, it created the ‘gainshare’ financial model, whereby Business Stream provides up-front capital expenditure for water efficiency investment, and shares in the subsequent savings.
Gainshare has helped Glasgow City Council save more than £1.4 million over the last four years.
In the north-east, King’s College at the University of Aberdeen has saved £13,800 a year after Business Stream helped it to find and stop a leak. The College’s water consumption was higher than anticipated, and asked Business Stream to help.
John Kingsland, utilities manager at the University, said: “After identifying the initial leak, we’ve worked in partnership with Business Stream to create regular efficiency reports, which has allowed us to spot future works and address problems before they arise.
“It’s important for us that we have a partner who knows our business and water’s role in it, so achieving that has been an instrumental part in making our water network more efficient.”