In its latest water scarcity report, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued an 'early warning' for the risk of shortages over coming months in the southern half of the country.
It comes following drier than average weather in March and April which has left levels in reservoirs and lochs lower than usual.
Rainfall data shows February was wetter than average but conditions since then have been drier.
The report, published on 28 April, states: “River flows have fallen particularly low for this time of year in central and southern Scotland.”
It continues: “In the last week soils have dried in central and southern Scotland.”
Groundwater levels in the east and south-west remain low for the time of year, while sites in the north and north-east have shown some recovery and are currently within normal range, it found.
Scottish Water, which is responsible for public supplies, has urged people to cut wastage and use resources efficiently.
“Reservoir levels will obviously fall in the coming months, especially if we have dry weather, and we will monitor this and manage water resources to maintain normal service to customers as we do year-round,” a spokesman for the corporation said.
“We always expect and plan for reservoir levels falling throughout the year, but especially so if we have extended dry weather.
“Due to climate change, it is becoming increasingly important that we treat water as a precious natural resource by reducing what we waste and that everyone, whether in households or businesses, uses water efficiently and wisely.
“It benefits all of us, is good for our economy and our planet.”
People are being advised to collect rainwater to water plants, use a bucket and sponge rather than a hose to wash cars, take shorter showers, turn the tap off while brushing teeth, use washing machines and dishwashers only when fully loaded and cut non-essential use in business premises.
He said the measures “help reduce water wastage and keep more water in our natural environment, all while helping to reduce our carbon footprint”.