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Lochs miff


I must write to correct any misconceptions created by your article European laws force Scotland to drain reservoirs and lochs', reporting my presentation last week at NCE's Water Framework Directive (WFD) conference.

There is no question of reservoirs or lochs being 'drained' as a response to any current or forthcoming EU Directives. Indeed, the purpose of the WFD is actively to protect such sites.

What I said is that the application of guidelines proposed by the UK Technical Advisory Group and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency would generally lead to an increase in the compensation flows to rivers downstream of reservoirs and lochs compared with those stipulated in current Water Orders. This would reduce the deployable output from some of Scotland's water resources.

Scotland-wide, in drought situations, a 12% reduction in the deployable output from reservoirs and an 80% reduction in the deployable output from lochs used for public water supply could therefore be seen.

In some locations, the reductions in deployable output resulting from application of the guidelines could result in the need to replace existing sources and infrastructure with new sources.

The WFD will clearly have an impact on water resources in Scotland. But it will be relatively small compared with the potential impact on abstractions in England and Wales, where rainfall is much lower and the pressures on renewable resources are much greater.

Paul Chadwick (M), associate director, Mott MacDonald, Paul.Chadwick@mottmac. com

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