Communities are at risk of flooding because of the “glacial progress” with flood protection schemes, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham revealed that just seven of the 42 priority schemes identified by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) in 2015 had been completed.
Five projects are classed as being under construction, 19 are under development and a further nine have been confirmed.
In written answers to Scottish Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles in November, Ms Cunningham also confirmed the growing costs for the flood schemes – more than £230 million higher than the original estimates.
Councils originally estimated the combined cost would be £401.7 million but latest estimates suggest the total cost is now expected to be £631.8 million.
Cost estimates for two of the schemes – one completed project in Broxburn, West Lothian, and planned work on the Water of Leith – were not available, according to the Scottish Government.
Among the projects are a flood protection scheme in Hawick in the Borders that is designed to offer protection to 900 properties.
Its cost has more than doubled from its initially estimate of £37.4 million to the current £80 million projection. It is due to be completed by the winter of 2022.
The cost of a flood projection scheme in Grangemouth in the Falkirk Council area that is is under development has also risen from £111.5 million to £220 million.
The Scottish Lib Dems’ environment spokeswoman Molly Nolan said: “In Sepa’s own words, these were 42 prioritised flood protection schemes identified for delivery between 2016 and 2021.
“This new research shows only a handful are completed. There are only a few more even in construction.
“That’s glacial progress.
“Communities across Scotland are being left vulnerable each winter that passes without this work.
“We saw again last winter just how damaging flooding can prove to whole towns and regions.
“From Aberdeenshire to the Borders, communities can’t forget how damaging floods can be to their homes and businesses. Each downpour or storm can cause anxiety.”
She added: “Flooding has become all too frequent a hazard in recent years. That’s only going to get worse while the climate emergency deepens.
“The Scottish Government must make sure that local authorities have the resources they need to protect our communities and ensure that these projects are delivered at speed.”
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