mountain road winding around a loch

Industry in Scotland risks facing water shortages

Jack Rooney Process Engineer
Jack Rooney

While Scotland has always been regarded as a country with plentiful amounts of water, the reality is somewhat different. In August 2021 Scottish Water produced a document reminding its domestic customers about the need for water efficiency, particularly during the warm summer months.

The document, which can be found here; Water efficiency reminder as hot weather continues - Scottish Water reminds us that Scottish Water had to utilise road tankers to supplement supplies during July and, while that need reduced through August, they continue to tanker in some areas where demand remains high, such as Tighnabruaich and Skye.

The issue is also highlighted, that in some areas, the warm weather and low reservoir levels have also caused an issue with seasonal, naturally occurring manganese and discoloured water.

Impact on Industry

The Scottish Water reminder document is specifically aimed at their domestic household customers, visitors, and tourists. However, it is clear the same issues could have a severe impact on industry, a risk which will become even more prevalent if the predicted impacts of climate change become reality.

What will happen?

  • Inconsistent quantities of supply will directly impact the quality of products and the ability of production sites to meet their hygiene requirements.
  • Inconsistent quality of supply, particularly related to the colour of water as described in the Scottish Water reminder document, poses a significant risk to product quality.
  • As demand for water exceeds supply, Scottish water and other water companies are likely to reduce the daily volume of water they allocate to industry through their supply systems.
  • The same supply and demand effect will undoubtably lead to increase water costs.

More than ever, Industry needs to closely examine the use of water on their sites and consider the use of tools such as water pinch analysis to determine how the volume of water used on a site can be reduced in a cost effect manner, which does not impact on any statutory hygiene, or product quality requirements.

SLR have supported a number of clients in this manner. If you’d like to speak to us about your site, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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