The spring and early summer has been unusually dry and the water levels in the loch and river are very low.
If you don't do something to control how much water is used there could be a dangerous shortage of clean water.
Without clean water on tap the villagers will not be able to wash clothes, clean their houses or flush their toilets. This would be very unhealthy! People would have to use expensive bottled water to drink and cook with. It is therefore very important to encourage the villagers to use water wisely.
Take the Drought quiz to prevent a drought turning into a dangerous water shortage.
It may rain a lot in Scotland but there are limits to how much fresh water can be stored in lochs and reservoirs. A lack of rain, or drought, as it is also called, can lead to a water shortage in as little as three weeks. That's why Scottish Water runs water-saving campaigns all year around and not only during a drought.
When droughts occur there are a number of actions that Scottish Water can take to prevent a water shortage.
These actions are listed in the order in which they would be introduced:
- Tell customers about the water shortage and ask them to use water even more carefully.
- We can ask customers to:
- turn off taps between brushing their teeth
- take showers instead of baths
- avoid washing cars
- stop watering gardens with hosepipes
- put bricks in the toilet cistern so it uses less water
- The best way to tell customers about a water shortage is to drop a leaflet through every door. That way we can be sure that everyone is told about the problem.
- Find and repair leaks in water supply system. This is the cheapest and most efficient way to protect water supplies.
- Enforce a hosepipe ban. Hosepipes are used to wash cars and water gardens. In fact, 5% of all the water we use goes through hosepipes. In a drought we can ask the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to enforce a hose pipe ban. This means that people can be fined if they use a hosepipe.
- Pump water to a reservoir from a loch. It is possible to pump water to a reservoir from a loch, where there is a pipe network in place.
- Pump water from one loch to another. If one loch is having problems, Scottish Water can pump water to another loch, where there is a pipe network in place.
- Ask to reduce river water levels. Scottish Water has to make sure that there is enough water in the rivers downstream from our reservoirs. However, in an emergency, we can ask the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to allow us to reduce river water levels to increase the public supply without harming the wildlife.
- Bring water in from another area. It is possible to bring in water by tanker from another area, e.g. from Yorkshire. To do this we would need to get a drought order from the Scottish Executive. However, bringing in water by tanker is very expensive and might lead to higher water bills.
- Water can be turned off for periods of the day. For instance, we could cut off one half of a town for 6 hours and then the other off for the next 6 hours. This greatly reduces the amount of water people can use without creating a health risk.
- Bring in drinking water by tanker. Drinking water can be brought into towns and villages by water tanker for people to fill bottles.
- Deliver bottled drinking water. As a last resort, Scottish Water can deliver bottled drinking water but this is extremely expensive.
All solutions to drought cost money. This effects how much money the Water Authority can spend on other areas.Overspending can also lead to bigger water bills which are never popular.
How to play
The Drought Quiz is a multiple choice quiz. All the questions are based on information you should have read here (or in the 'Info' section within the game).
After each question you will be given a choice of two or three possible answers. Click on the answer you think is right. You will then be told whether you are right or wrong, along with the reason why.
Once you have read the explanation you can continue to the next question.
Make sure you keep an eye on the island as you play to see if you are making things better.