With a week to go until its COP26 event at Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone, Scottish Canals has revealed plans for a major announcement about Europe’s first and only Smart Canal in North Glasgow.

The custodians of the nation’s inland waterways, Scottish Canals, has revealed plans to make a major announcement about the Glasgow Smart Canal – Europe’s first dynamic flood risk management system – at its event ‘Re-imagining 18th century infrastructure to address flood risk, stimulate investment & tackle health inequalities’ which is taking place at Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone on Wednesday 10th November 2021.

Over the past 20 years Scotland’s canals have been transformed into vibrant traffic-free spaces for leisure and recreation, important tourism destinations that include The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies and innovators in Scotland’s journey to net zero.

A jewel in the crown of Scottish Canals’ response to the climate emergency is the Glasgow Smart Canal – Europe’s first dynamic canal system – which has been delivered with partners at Scottish Water and Glasgow City Council and will provide flood mitigation across North Glasgow, unlocking 3000 new homes.

The announcement will happen live at Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone where Scottish Canals will be hosting a panel discussion on re-imagining 18th century infrastructure to address flood risk, stimulate investment & tackle health inequalities. The event will be live in front of a crowd of 130 industry leaders as well countless others tuning in online from around the globe to see the announcement.


“With the eyes of the world on Glasgow, now is the time to showcase the innovation that is transforming the Forth & Clyde Canal from a valuable industrial heritage asset to playing its part in tackling climate change and health inequalities.

This project has been 10 years in the making and we look forward to reaching a major milestone at our event next week in Glasgow becoming a smart city. I am delighted that Minister Patrick Harvie will officially launch the next vital phase of the Glasgow Smart Canal.” - Richard Millar, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Canals

The announcement will take place at Scottish Canals’ event within Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone where Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights Patrick Harvie will be joined by Scottish Canals’ CEO Catherine Topley, Scottish Water’s Karen Dee, Professor Sebastien Chastin from Glasgow Caledonian University and Vanessa Gilpin, owner of Gathering Ground community interest company.

The North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, better known as the Glasgow Smart Canal, is a £17million initiative between Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Water. The project has unlocked over 110 hectares of land in the north of the city for redevelopment including the construction of 3,000 new homes.

The innovative urban drainage system has picked up several industries awards this year amongst them “Innovation of The Year” and “The Greatest Contribution to Scotland”. The announcement being made live at Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone promises not to be a pen and paper project but something live, exciting and innovative happening within the city during COP26 to tackle climate change here and now.

Notes to editor.

About the Glasgow Smart Canal

  • The £17m project, has been delivered by the Glasgow City Council alongside Scottish Water and Scottish Canals through the Glasgow City Deal backed Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP). The wider project also benefitted from ERDF grant funding via Scotland’s 8thCity – the Smart City and Green Infrastructure Intervention
  • Over the expected 60 year lifespan of the project it is estimated that 35,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved. This is the equivalent of 83 million car miles travelled,
  • One tonne of carbon is created by driving 3600 miles in an average car. With the average mileage taken as 7200 miles per year, a 35000 tonnes total CO2 created taken over the course of a 60-year project timespan is equivalent to carbon output of 291 cars every year.

About Scottish Canals

  • Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel. See www.ScottishCanals.co.uk or follow @ScottishCanals for more information
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands, together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness
  • Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles
  • Today Scottish Canals is utilising these 18th century assets along with innovative technology to tackle modern problems. Through working with partners to create pioneering systems, Scottish Canals is helping to combat flooding and driving positive transformation in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year. See www.scottishcanals.co.uk for more information

About Scottish Water

Scottish Water provides vital water and waste water services, essential to daily life, to 2.5million households and 156,000 business premises across Scotland.

Scottish Water’s Storm Water Strategy, which was launched in February 2018, highlights that more effective ways of dealing with storm water above ground will substantially reduce pressure on nearly 32,000 miles of sewer network operated by the utility.

A number of pilots are being considered across the country to test new methods in communities which will reduce flooding risk. These will include more natural approaches such as diverting roof and road water through channels to ponds, use of permeable paving, and property level raingardens.

About Glasgow City Council

Glasgow City Council is working with project partners to tackle issues in the city around flooding and surface water management. Key to this work are the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP) and the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System (NGIWMS) – both funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal. The MGSDP will unlock potential development sites and build greater resilience to long-term climate change, ensuring that aspirations for regeneration and growth are supported by improved infrastructure capacity, and the NGIWMS will use sensors and predictive weather technology to provide early warning of wet weather before moving excess rainfall from residential and business areas into stretches of the canal where water levels have been lowered by as much as 10cm. This will create 55,000 cubic metres of extra capacity to transport surface water from North Glasgow to the River Kelvin during storms. For more information on these schemes, please visit: https://www.mgsdp.org and https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=21900.