SCOTS have been urged to use water responsibly amid fears shortages could “become more likely and widespread”.

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan told MSPs that “water levels are lower than usual for this time of year” across Scotland.

She was questioned on the situation after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) placed every single region of the country on a water scarcity alert.

Raising the issue at Holyrood, Conservative net-zero spokesman Liam Kerr said: “Sepa reports that every part of Scotland now finds itself with a shortage of water.”

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He added that Sepa had warned last summer that “water shortages would become more frequent and could seriously affect water supplies”.

Kerr said that in August 2022, Scottish Water was reported to be “leaking 185 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water each year due to faulty infrastructure”.

McAllan stressed that currently the “public water supply network is largely operating normally”, and Scottish Water is able to maintain supplies “during prolonged dry periods thanks to continued investment in resilience measures”.

However she warned: “With little sustained rain forecast, shortages could potentially become more likely and widespread.”

To combat this she appealed to “everyone to use water responsibly”.

McAllan also said there are some “specific challenges in smaller supplies, particularly in rural areas”, adding the Scottish Government and bodies such as Sepa and Scottish Water are continuing to monitor these “very closely”.