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Charges for water and waste water services will rise by an average of 37 pence per week in 2023/24, Scottish Water announced today (Thursday 2 February).

The increase is 5% against current charges and will take effect from April 2023.

Water rates are collected alongside council tax by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and Scottish Water says that around half of all Scottish households automatically have a discount, exemption or reduction applied.

The charges, which raise about £1 billion annually, support round-the-clock service that brings water to customers’ taps, cleans waste water and returns it safely to the environment.

But further significant increased investment is needed in the coming years to deal with ageing infrastructure and the impacts of the changing climate.

Douglas Millican, chief executive of Scottish Water, said: “The charges for 2023/24 have been set at a level which recognises the need for significant future investment to protect services, and the current economic challenges faced by many.”

Works currently under way in the Western Isles include a £15 million investment in a new water treatment works and associated mains from Lochmaddy across North Uist and Berneray, and a £1.8 million water main replacement just started in Bayble, Point.