Water and waste charges are to increase by 8.8% from April.

Scottish Water announced annual household bills for water will increase by around £35.95 for the year 2024/25.

Charges are set by the Scottish Water board at a level consistent with the final determination for charges for the 2021 to 2027 period, which are set by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Around half of households in Scotland receive financial support with water charges.

Scottish Water said further significant investment is needed in the coming years to deal with rapidly increasing climate change impacts, population shift, and ageing infrastructure.

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The company said it serves more than 2.6 million households, supplying more than 1.5 billion litres of water and removing and treating more than a billion litres of used and surface water daily.

Household customer charges generate around £1.5 billion annually, Scottish Water said, supporting a round-the-clock service that brings water to customers’ taps and cleans waste water, returning it safely to the environment.

Alex Plant, chief executive of Scottish Water, said: “Our core services play a vital role in the daily lives of millions of people in Scotland.

“As a publicly-owned body, we have a clear responsibility to ensure what people pay is affordable and set at a fair level for both current and future generations.

“The board’s decision on charges for 24/25 recognises the need for significant investment to protect services now and for the future as climate change means that more volatile weather conditions are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

“Whilst increases in bills are never welcome, and we acknowledge that cost-of-living pressures remain, this 70p a week on average increase will set us on a pathway to recover ground lost over the past two years when charges were set at a level lower than allowed for under the regulatory settlement.

“These charges will help us continue to meet our customers’ expectations, enable investment for resilience, and strike a fair balance between what customers today are paying and what future generations will need to contribute.

“The water charges reduction scheme, and other discounts, exemptions and reliefs, which apply to around 50% of all households in Scotland, are in place to help customers who may struggle to pay.”