Water warning for Scotland

Despite the forecast of rain over the weekend, SEPA has placed an early warning of water scarcity over much of Scotland, with the east of the country and the south-west being placed at alert level.

The agency said that June had seen well below average rainfall across the country, with ground conditions continuing to dry rapidly over the past two weeks.

While it is not unusual for river levels to be low at this time of year, with low rainfall forecast in the coming month, SEPA warned that the situation could persist and result in impacts to the environment and affect water supplies.

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The organisation warned that water sources used for irrigating farm land were at risk of becoming limited in the Alert and Moderate areas.

“We are urging farmers in these areas, especially if taking water from burns and small rivers, to only irrigate when, and only as much as, absolutely necessary,” said a spokesperson.

They also advised farmers to make sure irrigation equipment isn’t leaking and encouraged users to irrigate at night to reduce evaporation loss.

“Explore how you and your neighbours in the same river catchment could avoid irrigating at the same time,” said the spokesperson. “Consider whether you could switch to using groundwater rather than river water if conditions worsen.”

They also added that if it needed a new borehole to do this, local SEPA offices would be able to help and advise on how to go about it. They said that similar advice applied to golf courses.

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