Practical advice for regulated businesses on responsible water use as dry weather continues

date29 June 2018

As many of us continue to enjoy the current and recent prolonged periods of sunny weather, less rainfall can of course mean lower river and loch levels.

While public water supplies continue to operate normally, it’s important to be conscious of our natural river supplies and how we use them. 

With warm, dry temperatures set to continue, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is providing farm managers and regulated water users in North East and Northern Scotland with practical advice on using river and ground water sources sensibly and efficiently over the coming weeks to ensure our environment continues to thrive.

Scheduled visits will offer guidance on simple, site specific steps that farms, estates, golf courses and businesses can take to reduce water usage and will provide an opportunity to encourage best practice for irrigation and water abstractions.

A series of straightforward actions can be taken by regulated water users in the short term which will help to reduce the pressure on smaller watercourses:

  • Ensuring irrigation equipment isn’t leaking or broken;
  • Spraying water on crops and fields at night to reduce evaporation;
  • Cooperating with neighbours to avoid drawing water from the same rivers at the same time;
  • Only irrigating when absolutely necessary.

John Kenny, Chief Officer from SEPA, said:

“While the sunny weather is being enjoyed by many of us, SEPA officers continue to work hard to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.

“Our officers will be touring parts of North East and Northern Scotland to provide expert advice on a series of straightforward steps for farmers and others to reduce their use of water from our rivers, lochs and help protect the vital ecosystems they support.

“Whilst SEPA has not received any reports of significant environmental issues our staff are prioritising visits to catchments with lower water levels to assess and mitigate any potential environmental impacts.

“With further hot weather forecast over the coming week, we continue to monitor the situation with partners across Scotland, and will work closely with water users to ensure that the environment and other water users are not impacted as a result of this dry spell.”