The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued early warnings for parts of Scotland in its first water scarcity report of the year.
The warnings come after a spell of dry conditions across the country in March, which saw only half of the long-term average monthly rainfall.
Businesses which abstract water in areas which are affected by the warnings are urged by SEPA to consider how they can be more efficient to protect both the environment and their own operations.
Low levels were recorded in the southern half of the country and groundwater levels at SEPA monitoring sites in Fife and Angus are also particularly low.
Head of Water and Planning at SEPA, Nathan Critchlow-Watton, said: “Water is a resource that underpins key industries right across Scotland, including farming, food and drink production, energy and golf.
“We’re already seeing the effects of climate change. Last summer, the North and West of the country experienced its driest April-September in 160 years, while for the whole country it was the second driest on record for the same period.
“With a decrease in summer rainfall expected, we have to be prepared for increased pressure on Scotland’s water resources, perhaps in places that have never had to deal with water scarcity before.
“Water abstractors licensed by SEPA must have a plan to deal with water scarcity. They should monitor their water usage and equipment to ensure they are minimising use and operating at maximum efficiency.
“Our aim is to work with businesses to do the right thing and protect Scotland’s water environment. We can provide advice and guidance on steps to reduce pressure on rivers at risk of drought. Taking action now will reduce the likelihood of SEPA resorting to regulatory action.”
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