Free bottle water being offered to households after private supplies start running dry

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Highland Council

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People in Lochaber and the wider Highlands with reduced private water supplies are to be offered free bottled water following recent warm weather  through a Scottish Government support scheme.

According to the Holyrood government, some springs, streams and rivers used for private supplies, particularly in the north and west, are now running dry and, despite the forecasts of heavy rain for parts of Scotland, many will remain vulnerable.

There are 272 properties in the Lochaber area marked as having a private water supply, according to Highland Council.

Public water supplies, which the vast majority of households in Scotland use, are not affected.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson has urged people across the country to continue to use water efficiently.

‘Scotland has been experiencing warm, dry conditions over the last few weeks, but this has consequences for water scarcity. It’s likely that the drying up of private water supplies so early in the summer is a clear indication of the impacts of climate change,’ he said.

‘Most of us take for granted that clean drinking water is available at a turn of a tap.  However, for private water supply users this is not necessarily the case following a prolonged dry and hot spell of weather.

‘With climate change at the forefront of all our minds, this is a stark reminder of the need to conserve water as one of our most precious natural resources’

Around three percent of Scotland’s population is on a private water supply, which equates to over 150,000 people.