SOME of Scotland’s rivers could become hotspots for water scarcity, according to a new study.

Researchers used flow projections from across the country to model which regions and industries could be affected by droughts between 2020 and 2049.

They considered the impact of climate change on abstraction – water that is licensed to be removed from locations such as rivers and lochs – and found some areas could see droughts becoming much more frequent.

Professor Lindsay Beevers from Heriot-Watt University said: “We wanted to identify existing and emerging drought hotspots in Scotland, where more frequent, longer droughts are likely.

“Our analysis shows that droughts could become two to three times more frequent across much of Scotland.

“Abstraction is vital for our economy. Knowing which areas could face water scarcity means we can plan and adapt to protect our economy and the environment.”