The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is suspending water abstractions for most licence holders in mid and north Fife as river and groundwater levels become critical in the east of Scotland.

The water environment in the River Eden catchment reached Significant Scarcity last week, the highest category for water scarcity defined by SEPA, and is getting worse with hot and dry weather continuing.

The Tweed catchment in the Borders is in a similar situation and has also now reached Significant Scarcity in the latest report published on Friday 12 August.

A temporary suspension on water abstraction licences is being imposed from midnight on Saturday 13 August for the vast majority of farmers in the River Eden catchment to allow levels to recover. We’re working with Scottish Government to assess the options around soft fruit production, which is a perennial crop and typically has more efficient irrigation methods and a lower water impact.