PUBLICLY-owned Scottish Water's international division has won a contract to help improve water services in the Canadian city of Calgary.

Scottish Water said that five of its project consultants, backed by other specialist staff, would spend time over the next 12 months helping review the operational activities of The City of Calgary's water services business unit.

Dunfermline-based Scottish Water said the contract would see the lead consultants draw upon their expertise in water and sewerage operations and maintenance, and service delivery, benchmarking, business processes and change management, to make recommendations on ways to improve the effectiveness of the service to citizens of Calgary, while achieving maximum efficiencies.

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It added that, in securing the Calgary contract, Scottish Water International (SWI) had been able to highlight the success of its parent group in transforming services to be "among the best of the British utilities". Scottish Water noted it had cut costs to achieve the lowest average household water charges in Great Britain.

A spokesman for Scottish Water declined to disclose the value of the Calgary contract.

He would say only that SWI had a plan to do between £2 million and £3 million of business over five years, and that the Calgary assignment would make a contribution towards that.

SWI was set up as a subsidiary of Scottish Water in 2011 to harness and export the skills and experience of its engineers, scientists, technicians and managers.

Scottish Water, which was formed in 2002 and employs about 3,600 people, said these staff had "transformed" the delivery of Scotland's water service.

The spokesman said Scottish Water had 14 employees working on international contracts at the moment.

He added that the utility had about 40 in-house consultants available for deployment on international assignments.

The spokesman noted SWI had, in 2013/14, continued with its assignment in Qatar to help oversee management of a five-year programme to transform drainage and wastewater services ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

He added that new assignments had been won and delivered in Oman, Australia, Ireland and the Kyrgyz Republic.

Scottish Water noted that SWI had also had a previous contract in Canada, in 2012, rolling out a new methodology for protecting the safety of drinking water across the province of Alberta.

Dan Limacher, director of water services with The City of Calgary said: "It will be exciting to work with Scottish Water as we have much in common with them...The expertise they bring to this service review will help us in our ongoing efforts to continually improve our business and demonstrate value to citizens."