BLOG: I'm Passionate About Saving Water, Are You? - says Rachel Elliott

02 October 2020
Rahel Elliot at Royal Botanics Edinburgh

Challenge

Rachel says her passion for the environment helps her to persuade people to use less water, in a country where it rains all the time.

“Learning how much work goes into producing Scotland’s wonderful drinking water, it's clear that we should love this most precious natural resource, and not waste a single drop.”

Rachel Elliott
Water Resources Team, Scottish Watr
Every day, I encourage people all over Scotland to protect our most precious natural resource by saving water.

It’s a challenging job in a country that’s known for having an abundance of the stuff, but it helps that I’m really passionate about what I do.

As part of the Water Resources team at Scottish Water, I work to develop our water efficiency strategy, promoting water-efficient practices in all areas of our society. And that can take me to some pretty interesting places where I meet some really fascinating people. 

Last summer, it was Dunkeld and Birnam, in rural Perthshire, where we worked with the community to help them achieve the status of Scotland’s first water efficient village.

This summer we launched a campaign to Save Water on Arran, working with the local community and environmental groups to improve the resilience of the island’s water supply.

Last month I ended up at a film shoot at the stunning Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, with BBC Beechgrove presenter Kirsty Wilson who was helping share her garden water-saving tips.

Kirsty, who is the Herbaceous Supervisor at RBGE, showed us how it’s possible to maintain a beautiful garden – even one as big as the Botanics – while harnessing water to make the most efficient use of our natural resources.

Her water-saving advice - from installing a water butt and getting the kids involved with making their own mini-butts to training your plants to drink less - was underpinned by a simple message: rainwater is better for your gardens than tap water.

We see the demand for water increase during the summer months, especially during warm, dry spells. Much of that increase is down to water use in the garden and if you add in this year’s Covid-19 lockdown, gardening has gone into overdrive, and so has the demand for water.

Lockdown demonstrated how important our green spaces are, nurturing flowerbeds, lawns, and vegetable patches, and enjoying local wildlife. It was great to see Kirsty show us that we don’t need to use thousands of litres of drinking water to do it.
Rachel Elliot Water Efficiency Blog

Beechgrove's Kirsty Wilson shared garden water saving tips with Rachel

Rachel Elliot Water Efficiency Blog

Garden plants prefer rainwater

I joined Scottish Water’s Graduate Programme in 2017 and I have worked in many different parts of the business, including Scientific Services, Sustainable Land Management, and Process Science.

Learning how much work goes into producing Scotland’s wonderful drinking water, one thing became clear:  we should love this most precious natural resource, and not waste a single drop.

So ending up as part of the Water Resources Team was a no brainer, and encouraging others to love Scotland’s water by using less, is the ultimate in job satisfaction.