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CRW2022_05 Understanding the relationship between water scarcity and land use in private water supply catchments – a review

Large tank Photo credit: M. Bower

CREW code: CRW2022_05

Theme: Land and Water Resource Management

Type of project: Capacity Building

Project status: Project in progress

Overview: Climate change and increasing temperatures are putting an increasing focus on water use and water efficiency. In catchments, land use plays a significant role in water availability and resilience to climate change. Land use impacts the overall amount of water available and/or when the water passes through the catchment. The project should consider both the amount and timing of water availability with a focus on how much water is available to private water supplies. Water resources can be impacted by different types of land use, but private water supplies are often overlooked in strategies despite being highly vulnerable to changes in the environment.

Aim: The overall aim of the project is to build an evidence base that includes the spectrum of risks from land use on water scarcity in private water supply catchments. This will inform risk assessment implementation as part of the recast Drinking Water Directive alignment process.

Key questions:

  1. What literature is available regarding risks to water availability within Scottish catchments from different land uses identified by the project including but not limited to forestry and wind farms?
  2. What are the results of an assessment of the risks to private water supplies including consideration of the type of water supply (e.g., surface water, shallow or deep groundwater)?
  3. What are the best practises in other countries focussing on temperate regions and what regulatory protection measures do they use?
  4. What does a review of the protection measures currently used indicate?
  5. What are the areas for improvements in terms of risk assessment, enforcement and policy making in Scotland?

Lead research team: University of Aberdeen


Project Objectives

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