Water companies and regulators to be grilled on water quality in Wales by MPs
Water companies and regulators will be grilled in the House of Commons on the water quality in Wales by MPs today.
The Welsh Affairs Committee will be hearing from the regulators of water and water companies in Wales, in the second of its evidence sessions.
The Committee has heard that around a third of all rivers in Wales fail to meet targets on levels of phosphorus, while five of nine Welsh rivers designated as Special Areas of Conservation are failing on phosphorus and excessive nutrients.
Only 40% of rivers in Wales currently meet the criteria for good ecological status.
Two panels will be held starting at 10:00am, focusing predominantly on sewage discharges and pollution.
In the first panel, MPs will explore how regulators can better enforce existing regulations and what needs to happen to improve water quality.
Members of the Committee are likely to ask Ofwat and Natural Resources Wales to set out what steps they are taking to tackle sewage discharges and pollution, as well as to give their views on the potential for harsher penalties for serious pollution incidents.
The Committee will then turn to Wales’ two water companies, Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), which serves the majority of Wales, and smaller firm Hafren Dyfrdwy.
MPs are likely to press water companies on what action they are taking on water quality.
Questions likely to arise include whether targeted investments to improve water quality are planned, given increases in combined water and sewage bills for Welsh billpayers announced in February 2023.
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Can’t they be poached in milk the old fashioned way ?