Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Sepa issues climate change warning as water reaches ‘critically low’ levels in parts of the north and north-east

Sepa's map showing water scarcity levels and right: an old stone bridge usually submerged in Loch Glascarnoch.
Sepa's map showing water scarcity levels and right: an old stone bridge usually submerged in Loch Glascarnoch.

The effects of climate change and a dry spring has left water levels in the north and north-east “critically low”.

Sepa has outlined increasing shortages across the region, with one part of the north-east reaching its lowest ever level.

The agency’s chief executive Terry A’Hearn said his team will work with businesses across the country to address the problem. 

He said: “The severity of the water scarcity picture in parts of the north of Scotland is further evidence that water scarcity will become more and more prevalent across Scotland – and is just one of the many consequences of climate change the country faces.

“We want to work with businesses to plan long-term about their water usage so that we can preserve the resource as effectively as possible.

“This will protect both Scotland’s rivers and lochs and reduce their business risks.”

Sepa’s weekly update shows Sutherland, Moray and huge parts of Aberdeenshire listed as having moderate scarcity.

Deerdykes, a monitoring site located around 15 miles north of Aberdeen, is the location that has recorded its lowest ever level.

The rest of the north and north-east is listed as being at alert or early warning level, while most of the rest of Scotland has normal conditions.

The news will come as a surprise to many given the stormy conditions and wet weather seen over the summer but figures from Sepa show that most of the north and north-east has had lower than average rainfall during the past six months.

Figures showing the amount of rainfall in the north and north-east this year.

A water scarcity situation builds up over a long period of time and the missing rainfall would have topped up reservoirs, raised groundwater levels and provided moisture in the soils.

The Met Office has issued a warning for heavy rain over the weekend for the west Highlands, which should provide some relief.

The dry spell earlier in the year allowed SSE to carry out inspection and maintenance work at Loch Glascarnoch, which sits at the side of A832 near Garve.

As our pictures show, the low water level exposed some structures normally hidden underwater.

 

The old road that used to link Inverness and Ullapool and two stone bridges were visible.

Glascarnoch and its dam form part of energy giant SSE’s Conon hydro electric scheme, which involves six dams and seven power stations, which were built in stages between the 1940s and the 1960s.

A spokesman for SSE said: “It is not unusual for reduced water levels in the loch, which occur as normal during periods of low rain or when maintenance and inspection works are being carried out within the Conon hydro scheme, to reveal the old Dingwall to Ullapool road.

“Outbreaks of rain in recent weeks has resulted in water levels in the loch beginning to rise, resulting in the old road again becoming submerged once again.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]