Warning of summer water shortages after dry winter

time:2023-06-01 10:40:55 source:CBS News

Water shortages could be possible this summer in parts of Scotland after a drier than average winter.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued the first water scarcity report of 2023.

It shows parts of central, western and northern Scotland have reached the early warning level for water scarcity.

The watchdog said a particularly dry February had resulted in lower than normal river flows and groundwater levels for this time of year.

Businesses extracting water from natural sources are urged to plan ahead for potential water shortages.

Nathan Critchlow-Watton, head of water and planning at Sepa, said: "Given the mixed weather we've experienced in autumn and winter, and the fact that some parts are already at early warning level, what happens next will shape the risk of water scarcity this summer.

"We can't rule out a repeat of the water shortages businesses experienced last year."

Last year groundwater levels in the east of Scotland were at their lowest level since records began in 2009.

As a result the watchdog suspended 175 water abstraction licences.

Sarah Cowie from the National Farmers Union, Scotland (NFUS) said: "Last year, SEPA suspended abstraction licences for some growers for the first time.

"This stark response to a prolonged period of dry weather highlights the impacts of a changing climate and the pressures it can bring on farm businesses.

"NFUS encourages all farmers and growers to think about water use on farms as early as possible, to plan for the coming summer season."

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