Water scarcity levels in River Teviot threaten production of Borders Distillery Scotch whisky

  • Video report by Jonny Blair

A business in the Scottish Borders is concerned it'll be unable to continue producing Scottish whisky due to hot, dry weather conditions.

The Borders Distillery, in Hawick, is one of many businesses in the sector which uses water from rivers to create its products.

In agreement with the Scottish Environment Agency SEPA, the distillery takes water from the River Teviot to cool ingredients and use in the final whisky products.

With the dry conditions due to the hot weather, river levels are low - according to official water scarcity levels the Teviot is classed as "moderate," which is one below the worst.

This means the amount of water that can be taken from the river for commercial use could be reduced or turned off.

John Fordyce from the Distillery said: "We can't make Scotch whisky without water as it's the number one raw material.

"Our licences are just confined for what we require for production, no more or no less.

"If water in the Tweed valley becomes more of a scarce resource then the licence will reflect that."

Mr Fordyce told ITV Border he's concerned about the supply of water once the heatwave is over too.

"I think water conservation is going to be the next big topic.

"Following a conversation with SEPA we would either end up making less or we take part in a collective conservation effort to ensure there's enough, but i'm not sure which way it will go."

The next water scarcity update from SEPA is expected later today (Friday 12 August).

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