Scottish lochs and reservoirs rising up to 1.3°C from climate change

This increase is impacting wildlife and the future of water supply

Big Zero Report 2023

Climate change has seen 97% of Scotland’s monitored lochs and reservoirs heat up in the last seven years, posing a high risk to wildlife and water supply.

That’s according to a report published by Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), revealing that some of these increased by up to 1.3°C per year.

Waters in the South and East of the country are currently the most heavily impacted but this is expected to spread throughout Scotland, as climate change worsens.

These changes are expected to increase harmful algal blooms, which in turn mean the water cannot be used for recreation and certain species would no longer be safe there.

Environment Minister Mairi McAllan commented: “We have committed £243 million since 2015 through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme to support land management practices which protect and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“Scotland is renowned worldwide for the quality of our water. Research like this will be hugely valuable in informing the development of policy solutions and measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

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