Climate change: Scottish Water's warning to start treating water as a 'precious' resource is yet another wake-up call – Scotsman comment

It will be hard for many people to fathom that in Scotland, at the start of May, we are being warned to conserve water and start treating it as a “precious” resource.

And yet it is true, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency really has issued an “early warning” of potential shortages over the next few months in the southern half of the country. It did so after dry weather in March and April saw water levels in reservoirs and lochs fall, with river flows “particularly low for this time of year”.

Scottish Water said it was monitoring the situation, but has already asked people to collect rainwater for plants, take shorter showers, wash cars with a bucket of water rather than a hose, and take a number of other water-saving steps.

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“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 said.

Scottish weather may have been maligned by some as permanently dreich, but this is a country where rain looms large in our culture, in songs by Scottish bands like Why Does It Always Rain On Me by Travis, Happy When It Rains by the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Raintown by Deacon Blue, to mention just a few.

But then, these are songs from a different time and ones that future generations, ever more careful to preserve water, may come to regard with a mix of wonder and dismay at how little we did to stop climate change from getting so badly out of hand.

Two unusually dry months have prompted warnings about potential water shortages in southern Scotland (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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