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Welsh Government must have final say over use of Wales' water resources

14/06/2022

A demand was made in the House of Lords today (Tuesday) that the UK Government should not undertake any strategic planning for augmenting water supplies from Wales to meet the needs of English conurbations, and particularly the London area, without first reaching agreement on the matter with the Government of Wales.

Plaid’s Lord Dafydd Wigley asked for assurances from Government Minister Lord Taylor following the comments of London Mayor Boris Johnson, reported in the Daily Telegraph, in which he argued that London’s water needs should come from Wales by means of a network of canals and rivers.

Currently a clause in the Government of Wales Act 2006 prohibits the National Assembly from discussing water provision for England – an issue first highlighted by Plaid several years ago.

Plaid’s Lord Dafydd Wigley said:

“The issue of drowning valleys in Wales to provide English conurbations with supplies of water has been a hot issue in the past particularly with regard to the Treweryn Reservoir project half a century ago.

“The expectation of the people of Wales is that the National Assembly should have the final say on the strategic use of Wales water resources and that never again should Welsh communities be drowned against the will of local residents and the elected representatives of Wales.”

Lord Taylor told the House of Lords that he had no detailed knowledge of the proposals made by the Mayor of London.