Scottish Water Issues Water Efficiency Reminder
Utility company Scottish Water has issued a water efficiency reminder to its customers all over Scotland, following the second driest summer in 160 years for some parts of the country – which saw storage levels in reservoirs drop to record lows.
More dry and warm weather has been forecast for this week and, although some rain is expected in September, the long-range forecast for October and November is further dry weather… and storage levels in reservoirs are now at 66 per cent, which is the lowest recorded for this time of year since 2003.
Demand for water has eased since the peak of summer, but it is still up to 100 million litres a day above average – which is enough to fill 1.2 million baths or 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools!
The water supplier is now taking strides to ensure that normal water supplies are maintained across its network, producing more water where water treatment works have the capacity, using storage and moving water between various networks. In July, it had over 30 tankers supplementing supplies and it is still tankering in some areas where demand is high.
New infrastructure has also been installed in some reservoirs, while supplies are being safeguarded in some areas through collaboration with industrial customers to find alternative sources. Water leak detection and repair activity has also been stepped up.
Kes Juskowiak, operations general manager, said: “Demand remains between 50 and 100 million litres higher each day than the average for this time of year and our water storage and resources are low due to the continued generally dry weather.
“We can’t do anything about the low rainfall, but customers can continue to help us by using water efficiently. If people across the country – residents and visitors or holidaymakers – can take some small, simple steps to reduce their water use, they can make a big contribution towards our efforts to maintain normal supplies for everyone.”
A few weeks ago, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued a warning that parts of north-west Scotland, the Western Isles, Ayrshire, Clyde and Orkney were being moved to a water scarcity Alert level, with businesses that abstract water throughout the year being called upon to reduce usage and consumption.
Advice from the organisation for those businesses in the agriculture sector was to stagger abstractions with other operators, while reducing the volume of water being abstracted and either suspending abstractions where possible or switching to other supplies.
Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of the SEPA, said at the time that the severity of Scotland’s water scarcity picture is further evidence that this issue will become increasingly prevalent in the future, just one of the consequences the country faces because of climate change.
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