Private Water Supplies in a changing climate: Insights from 2018

Large areas of Scotland experienced significant water scarcity between July and September 2018. This resulted in over 500 private water supplies running dry nationwide.

165 of the reported supplies that ran dry were located in Aberdeenshire – a region particularly impacted because of a high number of shallow, surface-based supplies to private dwellings. 

However, the research found that the response to the crisis was generally effective and welcomed by those reliant on the private water supplies that had failed or experienced problems.

To reduce the pressures on Scottish Water and Local authorities, and the significant use of public funds during droughts, policy should aim to reduce the numbers of existing and new private water supplies.

This could be achieved through means such as improving assistance when pursuing a public mains water supply connection and encouraging new building developments to connect to the public mains supply rather than be reliant on a private water supply.

This project was completed by Chris Holdsworth as part of a funded internship under the ECCI Consultancy Innovation Programme.