IF you thought the weekend downpour meant an end to water shortages, you will be disappointed.

The long spell of hot weather has seen parts of the River Irvine and the River Garnock and other waterways reach some of their lowest ever recorded water levels - prompting a warning of ‘significant scarcity’.

But the national environment watchdog has now warned that the problem isn’t going to solved by a couple of rainy days.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has stated that it will take at least a month of constant rainfall, at a higher than normal rate, to address the currently shortages of water.

However, with more hot weather to come, SEPA says that the problem will get worse before it gets better. The organisation has moved to assure residents that the public water supply remains unaffected. However, it added that the lack of rain and high river temperatures was beginning to impact on local flora and fauna.

SEPA stated:“Dry weather has continued to dominate, though heavy rain spells have occurred across parts of the country.

“Any rainfall experienced has not been sufficient to alleviate the widespread water scarcity situation and this is forecast to continue.

“River levels have been very low right across the country for quite some time now. Some rivers, particularly in the north and northeas t , have been at exceptionally low flows for the last month.

“Such a prolonged period of low flows is very unusual.

“We are seeing continuing evidence in the north, north east and south west regions of river beds becoming extensively exposed and where there is water it is very shallow and slow flowing.”

“These conditions have also led to some high river water temperatures all of which put stress on river plants, fish and other animals.

“Loch and reservoir storage continues to fall. It is highly likely that by the end of July, Scotland will have had the driest six month period since 1984.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and coordinating steps to manage water resources in line with Scotland’s National Water Scarcity Plan. There are no areas where normal public water supplies have been affected, but there has been an increase in usage levels.”

SEPA said that it is working closely with Scottish Water. Advice can be found at www.scottishwater.co.uk/about-us/mediacentre/latestnews/customersacross-scotland-asked-touse-water-wisely)