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Highlands water shortage in the pipeline as summer continues to be warm, with hose pipes and paddling pools targeted

By Neil MacPhail

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Can you help after water shortage warning?
Can you help after water shortage warning?

A WATER shortage warning has been issued following the warm spell of summer weather being experienced across the region.

Scottish Water is urging people to use water efficiently because demand is so high during the warm weather that it’s having to produce more than 200 million litres of extra water per day nationwide to maintain normal supplies.

That’s enough water to fill 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools or 2.4 million baths apparently.

The publicly-owned water company is calling on all customers across Scotland to help protect water supplies and use water more efficiently by doing things like:

 Use a watering can instead of a garden hose because hoses and sprinklers can use about 1000 litres per hour – more than the equivalent of 12 baths

 Don’t use jet washers, which use an average of 36 litres of water

 Don’t use paddling pools, which use an average of 400 litres of water (if pools are used try quarter filling them and using the water to water your garden afterwards)

 turn the tap off when brushing teeth

 use washing machines and dishwashers only when fully loaded

The call is aimed at customers and summer holidaymakers and visitors to rural and island communities.

Recently demand across the country was so high that Scottish Water had to provide 100 million litres of extra water per day, compared with normal levels at this time of year.

As temperatures soared in much of the country, this increased to more than 200 million litres

of extra water per day over the weekend.

Scottish Water is working hard to maintain normal water supplies to all customers and is doing so by producing more water where water treatment works have the capacity, using storage and moving water between networks where possible.

It is also tankering extra water into some parts of the country to maintain supplies, including Fort Augustus, Dornoch and Skye.

It is also deploying additional river pumps and boreholes on the Moray coast and bringing additional boreholes online in the Fort William area to maintain normal supplies.

Kes Juskowiak, Scottish Water’s Water operations general manager, said: “These are very challenging conditions because of the warm, dry weather we’ve been experiencing and the forecast for the coming days is for more of the same.

“Water levels in our reservoirs are at 74%. This is a fall from 77% last week and from 90% in late May.

“Current levels are below average for this time of year but the main issue is demand for water from customers, which has increased considerably during the warm weather. It’s not isolated to one group but rather is the result of how we all use water in warm weather, particularly in the garden.

“When garden water use increases dramatically, for things like sprinklers and paddling pools, that places considerable strain across our infrastructure to move the water as quickly as the customers need it.

“We are working hard to support the increase in tourism across our wonderful country, but we are asking all our customers to be more water efficient and aware of how the use water.

“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 and if we can reduce demand it will also be good for the environment as there will be fewer tankers on the roads.”

Scottish Water posts facts, tips and activities on social media to raise awareness about why we need to save water and more information on saving water is available at www.scottishwater.co.uk/savewater.

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