Significant water scarcity alert issued after prolonged dry period 

People are being urged to take shorter showers and avoid using garden hoses.

Significant water scarcity alert issued after prolonged dry period  iStock

A significant water scarcity alert has been issued where river flows have been extremely low for more than a month.

The warning was issued by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

People living in Fife are being urged to take shorter showers and avoid using garden hoses as a result. Rivers in the Borders have also had very low flows for more than 22 days.

Other recommendations by Scottish Water include using a bucket and sponge rather than a hose when washing cars, and turning the tap off when brushing teeth.

The scarcity has been attributed to a prolonged dry period of weather, leading to supplies running low in mid and northern parts of Fife.

The River Eden has had very low flows for more than 31 days – the highest level on SEPA’s Drought Risk Assessment Tool.

On Friday, SEPA stated that parts of the United Kingdom had reached their highest water scarcity level.

David Harley, SEPA’s chief officer for circular economy, said: “Although there has been some recent rainfall in the east, it is not enough to recover the longer-term deficits.

“SEPA understands the impacts on businesses facing these difficult conditions and supports sectors reliant on water all year round on ways to become more resilient.”

Peter Farrer, chief operating officer of Scottish Water, said customers can play an “important role” in how the country’s water resources are managed.

“We remain absolutely focused on ensuring customer supplies are maintained, especially where the warm, dry weather has been experienced over a more prolonged period,” he said.

“Public water supply supports daily life around the clock and our national reservoir storage remains at a level where we can continue to meet requirements.

“We have seen water demand peaks, particularly around hot weekends, and customers can play an important role in how we manage our country’s water resources.”

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