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27 September 2018, 07:43
A network of hi-tech public taps is to be put in place across Scotland to encourage people to drink more water.
Scottish Water Top up Taps will be installed in around 30 towns and cities across the country in the next two years at a cost of more than £500,000, based on an estimated £20,000 each.
The first will be located outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and should be in place by the end of October.
Scottish Water wants the first 10 taps to be installed by the end of March, and it plans to work with local authorities to find suitable locations.
Current sites being considered include Glasgow, Ayr, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Fort William, Milngavie, Oban, Inverness and Aberdeen.
Each tap is connected to the public water supply and will digitally track water usage.
Cloud technology will be used to show the cost and plastic savings of the refill points.
Douglas Millican, Scottish Water chief executive, said: "The creation of a new network of public Top up Taps across the country as part of our Your Water, Your Life campaign is a significant boost in encouraging more people to choose to drink tap water in their daily lives.
"Our research shows that people feel very positively towards the quality of Scotland's tap water - now these state-of-the-art taps can provide access to enable water drinkers to enjoy it while on the go by carrying and using refillable bottles."
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham attended the launch outside Holyrood with school pupils.
She said: "I am delighted that our Programme for Government commitment to pilot the creation of a network of public water refill points is coming to fruition so quickly.
"By encouraging people to top-up from the tap using refillable bottles, we will help cut down on our use of plastics and promote the benefits of hydration building on Scottish Water's Your Water, Your Life campaign.
"I now look forward to refilling my bottle at the Top up Tap outside the parliament in the coming months."