Welsh Water and environmental charities team up to improve our waterways
Twenty-nine environmental NGOs in Wales, co-ordinated by Wales Environment Link, and water company, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water are announcing today that they have pulled together to create a set of shared principles setting out how they will work together to help leave the environment in a better state.
These principles will help guide our responses to the current once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new more sustainable approach to managing land as we come out of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Welsh Water and charities are already working together on many projects across Wales. These exciting and innovative projects cover a huge range of environmental issues, from tackling pollution by ‘unflushables’ like babywipes, to natural water filtering, to working with farmers on more environmentally-friendly agricultural techniques.
Case Study: Clear Streams, Swansea
The Clear Streams initiative aims to promote a healthier and cleaner water environment for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife.
The project is funded by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales, and delivered by Swansea Environmental Forum and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. While the water quality and general health of rivers and waterbodies in Swansea is improving, several continue to be polluted and are failing the Water Framework Directive ‘good’ status.
The key aim of Clear Streams is to promote a healthier and cleaner aquatic environment for the benefit of people, communities and wildlife, now and in the future.
Jerry Langford of The Woodland Trust, Chair of WEL’s Forestry and Freshwater Working Group, said: “The quality of freshwaters is one of the best indicators we have of whether land is in good heart and is being managed well. If our rivers and lakes can be made clean and be restored to provide thriving habitat for all the water life that depends on them that would show that those who manage the land are doing it well and pollution is under control.”
Karen Whitfield, Director of Wales Environment Link, said: “Our members are looking forward to continuing to working together with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water to improve our water environment. Joined-up action from business and environmentalists is essential if we are to have healthy, thriving freshwaters for people and nature.”
Welsh Water’s Director of Environment, Tony Harrington, said: “These pledges embody the way we want to work with our environmental partners, and reflect the growing importance of managing our land on a catchment-wide basis – working with landowners, farmers and other stakeholders to manage the land sustainably to better protect the environment around us for the benefit of our customers and future generations.”
The shared principles announced today include: continuing to work collaboratively on policy and projects; promoting greater awareness of the links between water management and the natural environment; working together to achieve and build upon Water Framework Directive obligations; sharing key data sets; and joint efforts to enhance and improve the resilience of water-based ecosystems.