Practical advice for regulated businesses on responsible water use

  06 July 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 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 can be taken to reduce water usage and will provide an opportunity to encourage best practice for irrigation and water abstractions. Advice for abstractors is also available on SEPA’s website

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:

  • Switching to a groundwater borehole if possible.
  • 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.

“By taking the right steps now, businesses that abstract water can help make the water supplies on which they and others depend last as long as possible through this period. SEPA is providing advice on a series of straightforward steps that can be taken to reduce stress on Scotland’s water environment. I encourage anyone who wants to discuss the current situation to contact their local SEPA office - our staff will be happy to provide advice and guidance.

“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.”