Natural mineral waters are weakly to moderately mineralized untreated groundwaters of which 18 of the 37 recognized in the UK are Scottish. Aquifers in Scotland are small and have local, relatively shallow groundwater flow paths. Travel times from recharge areas to these sources may be only a few days or weeks for upland sources and years or tens of years for lowland sources. The catchments of some sources are protected by controlled land use, others by the principle of good neighbours. The hydrogeological criteria for the recognition of natural mineral waters are discussed.

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