Public water supplies are generally taken from rivers, lochs, reservoirs and groundwater.
People who live within the catchment receive their public drinking-water supply from sources outwith the area (Loch Lee in the North Esk area, and Loch of Lintrathen and the Backwater Reservoir in the Isla area).
However Glenogil reservoir which feeds into the Noran Water, has been identified as a backup water supply, for example, during drought conditions.
There are some private drinking water supplies within the area. Water is taken for ‘Strathmore Springs’ bottled water from the Devonian sandstone aquifer which crosses the middle and lower sections of the catchment, but this is actually relatively little.
Attempts to use these aquifers have met with mixed success as much depends on the materials between the aquifer and the surface, which can prevent water from being drilled.
The Borrowfield borehole near Montrose was meant to take water direct from the aquifer there, but would only be used as a backup supply. Climate change could put even more pressure on drinking water supplies from the area in future years.