Climate change could leave Scotch drinkers thirsty

Scottish distilleries have warned that global warming could endanger whisky production.

Last year, some whisky makers were forced to close down for a month, according to a report in the Observer, and there is every chance the same could happen this year.

At some points last summer The Spey was running 97% lower than its normal minimum, and the rainfall over winter has not fully replenished it. “We lost the whole of September,” said Callum Fraser of the family-run Glenfarclas distillery on the river. “The water table hasn’t recovered yet, so it’ll be this year we see the full effect,” he told the paper.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency recently said “much of Scotland received less than average rainfall over the winter months on the back of a dry 2018, particularly in the north east. The dry and warm weather over the summer meant many farmers had to irrigate more than normal, and the drier than average winter months did not replenish lochs and groundwater, as we’d usually expect to see. As a result Scotland has lower reserves of water than at the same time last year.”

Sir James Bevan, chief executive at the Environment Agency, has also warned that England could face water shortages within 25 years.

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