Posted: Friday 3rd September 2021

Orkney Urged to Keep Up Water Saving Efforts


Scottish Water has thanked communities across Orkney for responding to its call for customers to use water efficiently.

The response from customers over last weekend made a real difference in helping drinking water storage tanks to be sustained. However, with dry conditions continuing and demand across the county remaining higher than normal for the time of year, tankers are continuing to play a key role in maintaining supplies.

Across Scotland, the publicly-owned water company has had to produce more than 200 million litres of extra water per day to maintain normal supplies – equivalent to filling 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools or running 2.4 million baths.

It is asking customers in Orkney to continue supporting the efforts of its local team – and particularly to:

  • Use a watering can instead of a garden hose, because hoses and sprinklers can use about 1000 litres per hour – more than the equivalent of 12 baths
  • Avoid use of jet washers, which use an average of 36 litres of water
  • Don’t use paddling pools, which use an average of 400 litres of water (if pools are used, try quarter-filling them and then re-using the water in your  garden afterwards)
  • Turn the tap off when brushing teeth
  • Use washing machines and dishwashers only when fully loaded

The areas of the county seeing the greatest pressure continue to be in Kirkwall, the East Mainland and down to South Ronaldsay, although tankers were also used to supplement a water storage tank serving Stromness at the weekend which has since recovered.

We’ve already had a great response from customers in Orkney over the last week. We want to thank everyone who has helped, but we need to ask for continued support so that we can continue to supply people with the water they need while protecting the environment.

As well as everyone doing what they can to save water, we’d encourage customers to be on the look out for any overflow pipes, outdoor taps or field troughs that are running to waste. We want to avoid water being wasted at any time of year, but in the current circumstances it’s even more important. If customers aren’t sure what to do, for example where buildings are empty, they can contact us on 0800 077 8778 or and we will follow up.”


Scottish Water posts facts, tips and activities on social media to raise awareness about why we need to save water. More information on saving water is available at