Talks are to take place about how Scotland could provide water to the south-east of England.
With supplies of water in parts of the south under pressure, the UK Government has confirmed it is willing to discuss the issue with the Scottish Government.
It comes after an offer of assistance from Scottish Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil.
He wrote to the UK Government in March, offering help with water supply in the long-term, if this could be both commercially and practically viable.
Speaking at a conference in Edinburgh, Mr Neil conceded there would be “massive logistical issues” to be overcome.
But the UK Government is now seeking exploratory talks on the issue with Scottish Government officials.
Mr Neil said: “I am pleased that the UK Government has responded positively.
“The south of England continues to face real issues with water supply, which look set to continue well into the future.
“Scotland has a plentiful supply of water and superb industry expertise, so it was only right that we offered our assistance.”