Drought conditions have led to an unprecedented water shortage warning for the north and north-east.
Fresh wildfires sparked yesterday as the sun continued to shine and water supplies dwindled, prompting an appeal to hundreds of communities to conserve supplies.
Cities, towns and villages from the Western Isles and across the Highlands to Moray and the north east were all told to ration their usage.
Scorching hot temperatures have resulted in a surge in water use that has seen water works and reservoirs starting to run dry.
While Scottish Water has resisted any use of the words “hosepipe ban” and have said “there is no way a panic or a crisis” they are nonetheless calling for restraint.
Alan Thomson, a spokesman for Scottish Water said: “In terms of the prolonged dry spell and the heat we’ve experienced, I certainly can’t in my life time remember it being like this.
“It gives us more challenges across the country but these are challenges we will meet.
“In certain areas of the country we are experiencing some particularly high water usage – up to a 30% increase in some regions.
“Right across Scotland we supply about 1.3 billion litres of drinking water a day, but right now we’re having to supply an extra 140 million litres daily.
“It’s for a number of reasons apart from just the dry conditions. There are of course a lot of tourists out enjoying the sunshine all across Scotland right now, folk are spending time watering the garden, kids are having water fights and playing in paddling pools. There are a whole range of things.
Anglers throughout the north and north-east of Scotland have also been struggling as the prolonged lack of rain has left many river levels extremely low.
Yesterday the River Spey was the third driest river in the UK – at Boat o Brig, the waterway was measured to be 97% lower than its normal minimum.
And although it was slightly cooler across Scotland than in recent days, due to cloud cover, temperatures still managed to reach around 20c during the warmest parts of the afternoon in some parts of the country, including Aviemore and Dornoch.
In light of the concerns, communities have been told to hand-wash their cars, avoid baths and do everything they can to conserve water following an unprecedented period of extremely warm and dry weather.
Gardeners have been told to use their watering cans and keep their hoses coiled up and people brushing their teeth have even been asked to turn off the tap while it’s not in use.
Those doing their laundry have been requested to only turn on their washing machines when they are fully loaded in order to “keep the water cycle flowing”.
Mr Thomson added: “We’re just calling for common sense. There is in no way a panic or a crisis right now, we’re just asking people to keep conservation in mind and consider their water usage a bit more than they do normally.”
The dry, hot weather is forecast to continue into the weekend, with little to no rain forecast across Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Highlands and Islands.