Scotland weather: Water demand spikes by 200 million litres a day due to heatwave

Two young girls cooling off in a loch in Scotland picture: John DevlinTwo young girls cooling off in a loch in Scotland picture: John Devlin
Two young girls cooling off in a loch in Scotland picture: John Devlin
The urge to jump into paddling pools and keep the garden plants hydrated during Scotland’s heatwave has caused demand for water to soar across the country.

Speaking on BBC Scotland Scottish Water operations manager Kes Juskowiak said the recent spell of hot weather had pushed the demand for water by 200 million litres a day last week.

Temperatures reached 28.2C on Saturday at Threave in Dumfries and Galloway, and more hot weather is on its way for the next few days with a chance of higher temperatures being recorded by the end of the week.

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Mr Juskowiak said the company has "struggled" to meet demand in places, with particular supply issues in the East Neuk of Fife, Orkney, parts of Argyll and Bute and Moray.

Speaking on the radio he said: "Last week, with the great weather into Tuesday and Wednesday, we've seen demand rising across the country - probably up to an extra 100 million litres on each day on Tuesday and Wednesday. From Thursday onwards, that took a significant jump up to 200 million.

"It's not isolated to certain parts of the country, it's broadly everywhere. But in some of our more more rural hot spots, we really struggled to meet the customers' demand during that time and needed to take additional measures to ensure people have safe drinking water at all times."

Increased tourist numbers this year are also contributing to the problem.

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Scottish Water has had measures in place to prepare for this years likely staycation boom, but Mr Juskowiak confirmed demand was high in several “tourist hot spots” in the country.

"Scottish Water's put in a lot plans to make sure that we can support the tourism industry," Mr Juskowiak said.

"We can keep up, but what it means is there's a lot of tankers on the road. It means a lot of disruption for local communities and it means blocking up roads."

He finished his interview offering advice to the public on how to use water wisely in an effort to prevent further supply issues.

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"If you need to water your plants, please use a watering can rather than a hose,” he said.

"A hose uses 1,000 litres of water an hour - that's the equivalent of five families' normal use in a day," he said.

"Paddling pools can use up to 5,000 litres of water, that's closer to 50 families' normal water use."

According to weather experts, high temperatures reaching between 25C and 27C are expected on Thursday and Friday in some parts of the country.

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Friday 16 July has been reported as the hottest day of the year in Scotland so far, with Aberdeen Airport reaching 27.5C.

The Thursday prior had previously taken the title as the hottest day of the year with 25.6C recorded in Dumfries and Galloway – the same recorded in Prestwick at the start of June.

Meteorologists have said that weather in Scotland could potentially reach peaks of 28C this summer.

The weather is due to turn cooler and cloudier this weekend.

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