Scottish Government
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Water shortages support

Bottled water provided to affected households.

People with reduced private water supplies following recent warm weather will be offered free bottled water through a Scottish Government support scheme. 

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

The Scottish Government continues to invest in the public network, reducing leakage and increasing efficiency which helps preserve water in the environment, and is working to develop technologies to enhance private water supply resilience.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson has urged people across the country to continue to use water efficiently. He recently said:

“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.

“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. Whether you have been affected by the recent shortages or not, I urge all households to use water wisely and to take note of the advice issued by Scottish Water – it benefits all of us and is good for our planet.”


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.

Around 3% of Scotland’s population is on a private water supply (over 150,000 people). One-third of the population in Argyll and Bute has a private water supply.

While it is the responsibility of owners to maintain private water supplies, the Scottish Government is providing support to households affected by the shortages, including funding, through the local council and Scottish Water. Any affected households should contact their local authority in the first instance.

Information on water use and advice on how to save water can be found on the Scottish Water website.


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