Changing Weather Patterns Putting Scotland’s Water Supplies At Risk
New research has found that changing weather patterns in the UK are expected to make Scotland’s private water supplies more vulnerable to drought, seriously problematic when you consider that private supplies provide drinking water to four per cent of the country’s population and to many more through tourist facilities and businesses.
Carried out by The James Hutton Institute, the study found that climate projections showing a trend towards warmer, drier summers and more frequent instances of heavy rainfall will see the west of Scotland become wetter and the east drier – putting water supplies at risk.
Further research from the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), focusing on water scarcity, found that north-east Scotland is expected to see the biggest increase in water shortages, with the region also home to the highest density of private water supplies.
These private supplies are vital for rural economies in the country, with micro and small businesses reliant upon them – making remote communities potentially less resilient economically and otherwise.
Although tourism is welcome as an opportunity for rural economies, hikes in water demand (such as along the North Coast 500 tourist route) is one issue that requires urgent attention, it was noted.
Thus, enhanced communication, more support and better regulatory oversight on a local and national basis is needed to ensure that businesses and communities can continue to flourish.
Roseanna Cunningham, environment and climate change secretary, commented: “This important research provides more evidence that climate change is having a growing impact on our natural environment and resources – and on our everyday lives.
“The prolonged dry weather in 2018, and again this spring, shows that Scotland is not immune to water scarcity. Events like this will only become more frequent, which is why it is essential that we continue to build on our understanding of climate change effects with research like this.”
Such research shows just why water efficiency is so important – and businesses can start to take action now if they want to ensure they remain operational even in the face of water shortages during droughts and flooding.
Climate change and population growth are both putting increasing pressure on water resources around the UK, but this can be offset by investing in water-efficient products and appliances, rainwater harvesting systems, greywater applications, automated meter reading technology and so on.
There is a lot that can be achieved in this regard but the first practical step that companies should take is to have a water audit carried out so as to find out where water is being used and potentially wasted.
Get in touch with the team here at H2o Building Services today if you’d like to find out more about how you can make your business more eco-friendly and help safeguard our water resources for future generations.