SCOTS are being warned to use water responsibly as reservoirs are at low levels following the current heatwave across the country. 

Last week, temperatures climbed as high as 32C in some places and environment watchdog Sepa warns we have now reached alert level in 37 areas after the warm and dry conditions have resulted in a 20% spike in domestic water usage.  

Loch Maree in the Highlands is under the highest alert level, Loch Ness and Loch Esk are facing moderate scarcity and SEPA warns other areas are showing early warning signs.  

People are being asked by the Scottish Government to take measures to reduce water usage, including taking shorter showers, not watering grass, turning off the tap when brushing teeth and only using washing machines and dishwashers when completely full. 

There is separate advice for businesses, who are being asked to monitor usage, plan ahead and use water wisely.  

The plea comes after First Minister Humza Yousaf chaired a meeting last week with the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room (SGoRR) to consider preparations and mitigations in the event of further water scarcity. 

The First Minister said: “While there is no immediate risk to public water supplies, water levels are much lower than usual for the time of year, particularly in parts of north and southern Scotland.  

“With little significant rain forecast, shortages could become more likely and potentially more widespread. 

“Everyone needs to use water responsibly.  

“I urge businesses and the public to follow the guidance provided by SEPA and Scottish Water on the measures that need to be taken. 

“The Scottish Government has reopened the emergency scheme to provide bottled water to any homes on private water supplies that need it.  

“Householders should contact their local council if required.” 

Summer is a crucial time of year for water demand and the climate crisis has exacerbated the issue – after an unusually dry winter and spring, places which haven't previously had water scarcity are now experiencing shortages.  

If dry conditions persist across Scotland, measures such as hosepipe bans could be introduced.