The Scottish Environment Protection (SEPA) is working with businesses across Scotland to help them prepare for a potential lack of water this summer.
As part of World Water Day on the 22nd of March SEPA found that parts of the country could struggle in the coming months due to a dry winter, which saw January recorded as the seventh driest on record, with Groundwater levels low despite storms in February.
Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said: “In recent times Scotland has experienced some of the driest conditions we have seen for many years, bringing water scarcity impacts for many businesses and households across the country.
“With climate change at the forefront of all our minds, the need to conserve water as one of our most precious natural resources is more crucial than ever. Indeed, the most recent report from the Climate Change Committee confirmed that drought will become more prevalent in years to come as summers in Scotland get drier and hotter.
“That’s why I urge everyone to use water wisely and to take advantage of the advice and guidance offered by SEPA and Scottish Water – it benefits all of us, is good for our economy and our planet.”
The water scarcity is just one indicator of Scotland’s changing climate, with more extreme weather, as indicated by several storms already this year, and a projected decrease in summer rainfall, meaning that many areas could face pressures on water resources.
As well as the ecological impacts – food and drink production, hydropower generation and other business activity reliant on a consistent water supply could also be affected.
SEPA’s Head of Water and Planning, Nathan Critchlow-Watton, said: “As part of our national resilience, it’s important that Scotland is ready to deal with water scarcity now and in the future. At SEPA we’re here to help with information to allow businesses to make informed decisions about reducing their reliance on water and to plan for and manage water scarcity events.”
Businesses can find out more information about water scarcity and how to prepare by visiting https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/water/water-scarcity/