Water Industry News

Scottish Distilleries Recognised For Water Conservation

Some 11 distilleries in Speyside in northeast Scotland have been recognised for their efforts in water conservation, after they formed a Spey Catchment Group to drive forward projects that preserved precious supplies, setting targets in place to improve water efficiency by 30 per cent come 2030.


According to the Press and Journal, the Diageo-owned sites were recognised by the Scotland-based Alliance for Water Stewardship for their work in sustaining supplies.


Chief executive of the organisation Adrian Sym observed that water is the main medium through which we’ll feel the impact of climate change, adding: “Diageo’s leadership will not only help safeguard one of Scotland’s most important exports, but it also serves as a model to other companies on the power of collective action as water availability becomes less predictable in many places.”


As well as setting out targets to improve water efficiency, other community projects have been run by Diageo in recent years, including at Abernethy Nature Reserve in the Cairngorm National Park.


Here, officials from the company worked alongside the RSPB to restore local peatland where water retention had been identified as an issue.


The entire length of the River Spey has also been recognised as a special area of conservation because of its importance in preserving species such as Atlantic salmon.


Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer with Diageo, explained that the brand knows just how important it is to protect the iconic river, which makes its whisky so special.


He went on to add: “The certification of our Speyside distilleries recognises the efforts we have led in the catchment, to ensure high quality and sustainable water stewardship, so that our natural landscape is preserved for everyone.”


According to NatureScot, Scotland is set to face an increased risk of extreme droughts over the next 20 years, with Speyside identified as one of the areas facing the highest risk, as well as parts of Aberdeenshire, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland.


This comes after utility company Scottish Water issued a warning to people in Scotland to ensure they try to use water more efficiently this autumn in order to ensure that normal supplies are maintained, following a record dry period that saw reservoirs hit significant lows.


The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has also said that the rainfall deficit seen over the last few months means that the country will need to see double the typical amount of rainfall during autumn in order for water levels to return to normal for this time of year.


Work is now being undertaken to supplement water sources, as well as making adjustments to networks around Scotland, with new infrastructure installed in reservoirs, water leak detection and repair being carried out and work being done alongside industrial customers to provide additional sources to protect supplies.


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