Research Brief : Climate Resilience of Water Supply on the Isle of Barra

Hunter, Kirsty and Major, Laura and Roberts, Jennifer J. (2023) Research Brief : Climate Resilience of Water Supply on the Isle of Barra. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Climate change is affecting global resources at a range of scales. The provision of drinking water is heavily influenced by climate, especially in regions which rely on rainwater for its supply. It is important to understand the risks and resilience associated with drinking water provision to establish suitable adaptation plans, including for infrastructure and resource management. This project investigated the potential impacts of climate change on drinking water provision on the Isle of Barra (Eilean Bharra), Scotland. The Isle of Barra was chosen as a case study due to its potential exposure to climate change impacts given the reliance on one surface reservoir Loch an Duin for water supply, anticipated vulnerability of islands in northwest Scotland to hydrological drought, the importance of specific transport links to supply key goods and services, the impact of water scarcity events on drinking water provision in recent years, and exposure to coastal flooding events. However, the Isle of Barra is not unique in this regard: many islands in the Western Isles have similar water and connectivity arrangements and are vulnerable to climate change impacts.

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