Posted: Thu 8th Feb 2024

Welsh Water needs to ‘up its game’ on tackling pollution, says Senedd’s Environment Committee

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 8th, 2024

The Senedd’s Environment Committee has today called on Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and the Welsh Government to accelerate measures to tackle pollution in Wales’ waters.

The Committee believes that Dŵr Cymru should set a more ambitious target for reducing pollution incidents by 2030, aiming for zero pollution incidents as soon as possible.

Today’s report also calls on the Welsh Government to outline its timetable for banning wet wipes containing plastic as soon as possible – the Committee heard how wet wipes are the main cause of blockages.

Llyr Gruffydd MS, Chair of the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee, said:

“Recent performance reports show that Dŵr Cymru is barely treading water in delivering for its customers and the environment.

“Pollution, leakages, drinking water quality issues, and supply interruptions are just some of the challenges Dŵr Cymru is facing. Alongside the constant sewage discharges, which we’re all too familiar with, there’s only one conclusion to be drawn: Dŵr Cymru needs to up its game.

“Extreme weather events and climate change are wreaking havoc on the ageing water and sewage system. With the impacts of climate change expected to worsen over the coming years, Dŵr Cymru needs to find long-term sustainable solutions that are affordable for customers.

“It’s a challenging task, but it’s one Dŵr Cymru must rise to.

“Dŵr Cymru must work harder and faster to return to its position as an industry leader in environmental performance – something it has already proven it can be. Unfortunately, for the people of Wales, their current performance is not up to standard.”

The Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee is calling for:

  • Dŵr Cymru to explain how it is planning for future climate pressures to mitigate serious pollution incidents.
  • Dŵr Cymru to commit to setting a more ambitious target for reducing pollution incidents by 2030 and to an ambition of zero pollution incidents in the shortest time possible.
  • The Welsh Government to introduce a ban on wet wipes containing plastic as soon as possible.
  • Ofwat to clarify whether and how its performance-related pay recovery applies to Dŵr Cymru, given its ‘not-for-profit’ status.

Today’s report includes a series of recommendations for Dŵr Cymru and its regulators aimed at improving the company’s performance and ensuring better accountability. The Committee expects all parties to respond to the recommendations.

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