Climate change is likely to bring more uncertainty and may exert pressure in areas that have not yet experienced water scarcity. If dry conditions persist across Scotland for a period of time, there becomes an urgency to act to protect water resources for critical activities that support our communities.
SEPA are responsible for the forecast, monitoring and report of the situation facing Scotland's water resources and produces a regular report during the summer months. We have now ended our weekly reporting period. We continue to monitor the water resources situation throughout the year and we will produce seasonal water situation reports in winter and spring. The next report will be available in the first week of December.
View the Water Scarcity Report 28 September
Plan ahead and use water wisely
We all have a role to play in managing our water environment. Businesses must follow conditions in abstraction permits and are advised to plan ahead now to avoid issues later in the year. Through the efficient use of water, businesses can save money and increase their resilience to the impacts of prolonged dry conditions.
Spring/Summer is a crucial time of year for water demand. We have advice for abstractors and irrigators on how to manage water wisely and improve business resilience to prolonged dry conditions.
You should plan, monitor and record the water you use and meet the requirements of your abstraction permit. SEPA can help you to adapt and become more resilient to periods of prolonged dry weather to help reduce the impact on both your business and the environment.
Protect your business from water scarcity
We advise all abstractors to be aware of the potential risk of water scarcity, and for businesses to plan ahead where possible.
- Always monitor your water usage and plan for managing it efficiently in a range of conditions, with equipment kept in good working order. Abstractors must record abstraction volumes, including nil return. Download the data returns form.
- Understand the risk of water scarcity in your area and to your business.
- Review your current infrastructure and work out the costs and benefits of abstraction and the value of water to your business – this will help you to plan investments in equipment and infrastructure.
- Consider if there are more innovative ways of working that would improve your water use efficiency?
Advice and support
- Information on water efficiency measures can also be found on Farm Advisory Service, UK Irrigation Association, Farming & Water Scotland and NetRegs.
- Apply to switch from surface to groundwater
- Apply for temporary abstractions
- Information on new permanent abstractions
- In the National Water Scarcity Plan we set out how we will work with water users (authorised abstractors and recreational users) and key organisations, such as Scottish Water, to manage water resources during periods of low rainfall.
Finding information about other water supplies:
- Private water supplies - Information on how to look after your domestic or commercial private water supplies is available from the Scottish Government.
- Public water supplies – Scottish Water provides advice about water efficient and can answer enquiries about public water supplies.