Water Efficiency Call for North Communities

29 June 2021
A Scottish Water van on the Mam Ratagan road between Glen Shiel and Glenelg in Lochalsh

Precious resource

Customers are being asked to take small steps to help maintain water supplies and protect the environment

Scottish Water is asking people in Moray, Skye, Lochalsh and the Western Isles to help take care of the vital drinking water resources we all rely on by making small changes and using water efficiently this summer and year-round.

The publicly-owned water company is calling on all customers – both local residents and visitors – to help protect water supplies and use water more efficiently by doing things like:

  • taking shorter showers;
  • turning the tap off when brushing teeth;
  • using washing machines and dishwashers only when fully loaded; and
  • using a watering can instead of a garden hose.

Popular tourist areas across the country, including many rural and island communities, are seeing a resurgence in visitor numbers with the easing of restrictions on domestic travel. The population in some areas can rise significantly above its normal level in the peak tourist season.

The flow in the River Spey remains low and Scottish Water is currently supplementing the borehole supplies at Badentinan in Moray by pumping directly from the river, as well as balancing flows between Badentinan and Glenlatterach water treatment works to make best use of available water resources. 

There are three areas of the Isle of Lewis that Scottish Water is monitoring closely. The reservoir levels for Stornoway, West Lewis and Tolsta water treatment works have dropped in recent weeks and, while all above 70%, customers in these areas are being particularly encouraged to use water efficiently.

Demand for water is high across Skye and Lochalsh. While Scottish Water’s infrastructure is maintaining supplies, local teams are having to use road tankers to supplement supplies in some areas at peak times – including in rural communities such as Glendale and Arnisdale where a 10% increase in the normal demand for this time of year can be seen. 

With school holidays having started and the holiday season coming into full swing, demand is expected to increase.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We encourage our customers in Moray, Skye, Lochalsh and the Western Isles to be more water efficient this summer and throughout the year, for the benefit of maintaining supplies, protecting a precious natural resource by reducing water wastage, and keeping more water in our natural environment, all while helping to reduce our carbon footprint.

“Water is always worth saving, whatever the weather, and making small changes to save water, and the energy it takes to produce it, whether you’re at home or enjoying a day trip or staycation, is good for your pocket and the planet.”

He added: “With a busy summer underway, we are asking visitors and year-round residents to be mindful of the challenge that inefficient use of water can pose for our infrastructure and the local environment. By customers taking small steps to reduce their water use, a big contribution can be made to sustaining supplies for everyone. 

“Our local teams are working hard to help communities welcome back visitors safely. By taking extra care of our water and the wider environment that it is drawn from, we can all play a part in enabling them to flourish this summer and for many years to come.” 

Scottish Water posts facts, tips and activities on social media to raise awareness about why we need to save water and more information on saving water is available at www.scottishwater.co.uk/savewater.