Dŵr Cymru criticised after announcing introduction of hosepipe ban
Dŵr Cymru has been criticised following the announcement of a hosepipe ban in Pembrokeshire from 19 August.
The ban means people will not be allowed to water their plants, wash their cars or clean windows using a hose and comes after rainfall averages in the county were 60% below average between March and July.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the not-for-profit company for paying large bonuses to its bosses while infrastructure creaks – highlighting data from Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority, which showed that 169.9 megalitres/day were being wasted through leakage in Dŵr Cymru’s network during 2020-21.
The company also failed to meet its Per capita consumption (PCC) targets which are designed to push for less water to be taken from the environment.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats say that their analysis of Company House data shows that executives at Dŵr Cymru were paid £2.6 million in 2020 and 2021 including £931,000 in bonuses, benefits and incentives.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “We cannot control the hot and dry weather, but we can control wastage through outdated or poorly-maintained infrastructure.
“Welsh Water brands itself as “not for profit”, yet we see them paying their executives eye-watering bonuses while their infrastructure is in desperate need of upgrades and they continue to pump raw sewage into our rivers.
“Bonuses are meant to reward outstanding behaviour, yet the record of Welsh Water is far from outstanding.
“From leaking pipes to sewage overflows, it is time Welsh Water put our environment and the public ahead of profit. I hope this summer’s drought is a wake-up call for both the Government in Cardiff Bay and Westminster to get tougher on water companies.”
Welsh Water’s managing director of water services, Ian Christie, told BBC Wales: “We have not seen such prolonged dry conditions in Pembrokeshire since1976.
“Introducing the hosepipe ban is not a decision we have taken lightly, however if we are to make sure there is enough water to see us through the rest of the summer and into the autumn then we need to act now to try and prevent any further restrictions later on.
“The ban will apply to just over 2% of the three million population we serve in Wales. More broadly we do not intend to introduce restrictions more widely across our operating area.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
A not-for-profit organisation and giving bonuses of that size is disgusting. There should not be large bonuses to any employee already on a good salary. Everyone gets paid for the job. If they exceed what is required of them in the job, then yes give a bonus, but these sums should be capped. No-one should have a bonus greater than the average salary in Wales which is I believe currently around £27K.
With bonuses, pension contributions and wages the CEO of Welsh Water earned about £768,000. The average in England for water CEO’s was £1.7M.
In 2019 the failing boss of Thames Water was effectively sacked yet still got a severance payout of £2.8M. I agree that all these wages are ludicrous but Dwr is far from the worst.
I yield to no one in my criticism of Dwr Cymru, however, I do not think it is their fault that sixty per cent less rainfall is their fault, it’s probably better to aim ones anger at the people who are destroying the planet and causing the problematic weather events that we have, rather than the people who supply your water to you. Just saying, like….
Welsh Lib Dems looking for scapegoats as usual. They have learned from their Tory masters. I have worked on projects for the Water sector for a couple of decades now and whilst they were a pain in the a*** client, Dwr Cymru are one of the best of them. Their commitment to leave no customer in water poverty is laudable and unique. It puts them at a commercial disadvantage, but they stand by it. They postponed multi-million pound projects during Coronavirus so that they could bear the cost of customers who could not pay their bills. They are not perfect… Read more »
Fiddling while Rome burns? DC introducing a localised hosepipe ban while perpetually ducking leakage reduction initiatives in favour of bonuses is only a small part of the problem. Their chronically dysfunctional operation running sewage works across Wales is the major issue. With the NRW turning a blind eye over discharge failures most often.
The problem with discharge failures is that when the plants were built, (usually between 1850 and 1970) capacity was designed for, say, a 1 in 20 year storm event. Meaning that incoming material exceeded capacity only once every 20 years. At these times overflow into the river was considered a manageable, rare event worth paying for to keep design costs down. Due to climate change and poorly planned housing development, these now happen annually. Ofwat impose strict leakage reduction targets on all water authorities. If these are not met, fines run into the tens of millions. It is a myth… Read more »
Nice write up, regrettably not so though from my 30yrs of designing, building, getting to work, then seeing the plants being mismanaged in order to save revenue. A management structure that rewards those who cut costs not those who maintain compliance.