Scotland's weather: Heatwave set to return this weekend

Temperatures will be on the rise again this weekend, the Met Office forecasts. Picture: Met OfficeTemperatures will be on the rise again this weekend, the Met Office forecasts. Picture: Met Office
Temperatures will be on the rise again this weekend, the Met Office forecasts. Picture: Met Office
The hot weather has resulted in some private water supplies running dry and has led to the Scottish Government offering emergency funding to local authorities and Scottish Water.

Last night ministers said Scottish Government funding would be made available where private supplies are vulnerable as a result of drying springs and burns.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Environment Secretary Roseanna Council have written to all councils to appraise them of the situation.

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Most of Scotland receives its water from public supplies but nearly 4 per cent of the population are reliant on private supplies, some of which are at risk as a result of the dry spell.

The letter to councils listed areas where the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) had identified potential shortages in private water supplies, which are run by councils. It said: “There are nearly 8,000 private supplies reliant on surface water or spring water located in the areas designated with significant or moderate scarcity by Sepa. We are aware that a number of these are either running dry or are not suitable for drinking water purposes.”

Last week the latest Sepa report said the Deveron and Ythan catchments in North East Scotland were at “significant scarcity”.

The remainder of the North East, North and East Highland, North Fife, Angus, West Galloway and Girvan are in the “moderate scarcity” category. 

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According to the letter, significant scarcity means that the there is evidence of drying river channels. Moderate scarcity means that river flows are very low, soil moisture deficit is high and no significant rain is expected in the immediate forecast. 

Even once normal weather patterns resume, it is expected that it will take time for resources to recover. Last night the Scottish Government declined to say how much money would be made available to councils and Scottish Water. The amount would depend on what was required.

Mr Mackay said: “An adequate supply of drinking water is something that most of us take for granted. However, for those who are not connected to the public supply, this is not the case particularly in prolonged dry periods.

“We are determined to ensure that no-one goes without drinking water because of the current dry spell. For this reason, I have confirmed to local authorities and Scottish Water that the Scottish Government will cover the additional costs incurred where emergency supplies need to be provided.”

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The public has been urged to use water wisely, as the Met Office forecast that the heatwave is set to return to Scotland this weekend with temperatures of up to 27C with Aberdeenshire are expected to see the highest figures.

The previous Scottish record was 32.9C at Greycrook in the Borders in August 2003.