The risk of water scarcity has been raised to 'alert' level for parts of eastern Scotland

Falkirk, East Lothian and northeast Aberdeenshire have all had the risk levels raised from an early warning stage to alert. 

The Firth of Tay area, covering north Fife and Dundee, remains at alert after the risk was raised last week.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has warned low levels of rainfall have prompted concerns over dryer conditions in the area.

In these areas, businesses abstracting water are being asked to ensure efficient usage, including checks of their equipment and abstracting at night to minimise evaporation. 

River flows remain low for the time of year across the east of Scotland and most of these areas remain at 'early warning'. 

READ MORE: Officials issue first water scarcity alert of the year in Scotland

Meanwhile, an early warning has also been issued for Orkney and the southwest of Scotland.

Normal water levels remain in the west as the water scarcity levels split Scotland. 

The alert in the east predominantly affects industries such as farming, whisky production, golf and hydropower energy.

HeraldScotland:

The head of water and planning at SEPA, Nathan Critchlow-Watton, said: “The deterioration in the east is due to a combination of dry ground conditions and low river flows.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and manage water resources in line with Scotland's National Water Scarcity Plan.

“Businesses can play their part to protect the environment by following our advice on using water efficiently and having a plan for when resources start to deplete. 

“Water scarcity will become a more regular occurrence in Scotland as a result of climate change, but we’re here to help and minimise the impacts on both the environment and key sectors across the country.”