Aberdeen Corporation Water Order: HL 21 Oct 1915

The purposes of this Order were the construction of new water-works and the abstraction of an additional supply of water from the river Dee for the City of Aberdeen. All opposition, including that of the counties of Aberdeen and Kincardine and the burgh of Banchory, had been withdrawn, save that on behalf of the District Board of the River Dee District (representing the salmon-fishing interests of the river) and of Sir Victor Mackenzie, Bart., and other riparian owners.

The Local Government Board had reported to the Commissioners with regard to (1) the omission from the incorporated sections of the Lands Clauses (Scotland) Act, of section 127 of that Act, which provides that until the works are completed the promoters are to make good any deficiency of land tax, poor’s rate, andc., caused by land being taken, and (2) the insertion of a clause providing for the accommodation of workmen during the construction of the new works in pursuance of General Order 101 ( a). The omission referred to (1) had been rectified, and a clause had been inserted to meet the second point (2), which, although not in the form suggested by the Local Government Board inasmuch as it provided for accommodation for dealing with cases of infectious as well as other disease, was not objected to by the Board.
The water supply of Aberdeen was obtained by abstracting water from the river Dee at Cairnton, 19 miles from Aberdeen. Originally power to take 6 million gallons per day had been obtained, and in 1885 power to take an additional 2 million gallons was granted. No compensation water scheme existed. It was now proposed to obtain power to abstract an additional 3 million gallons per day, and that without compensation water. The objectors sought that a condition of the passing of the Order should be that the promoters must apply in the following year for power to construct a compensation water reservoir, and suggested that some power to regulate the use of it should be conferred on them. It was stated that the minimum flow of the river at Cairnton was 120 million gallons per day, with a maximum flow of over 1000 million, and an average flow of about 500 million gallons per day, and that at the most the abstraction of the additional 3 million gallons would not reduce by 3-16ths of an inch the level of the water, which had a minimum depth in the main channel of 15 inches.
The Commissioners found the preamble proved, and inserted no condition as to compensation water, being of opinion that in all the circumstances of the case it was not necessary to make such provision.
Clauses were adjusted.


Lord Southwark, the Earl of Moray, and Mr Alpheus C. Morton, MP


[1915] UKHL 863, 53 SLR 863






Updated: 26 April 2022; Ref: scu.620695