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Water companies and regulators questioned on water quality in Wales

9 March 2023

The Welsh Affairs Committee hears from the regulators of water and water companies in Wales, in the second of its evidence sessions examining water quality in Wales.


Wednesday 15 March 2023, Committee Room 5, Palace of Westminister

At 10.00am

  • David Black, Chief Executive, Ofwat
  • Ceri Davies, Executive Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting, Natural Resources Wales
  • Mark Squire, Sustainable Water Manager at Natural Resources Wales

At 11.00am

  • Steve Wilson, Managing Director of Wastewater Services, Business Customers and Energy, Dŵr Cymru
  • Jason Rogers, Head of Water Quality and Environment, Hafren Dyfrdwy

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, 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.

Further information

Image: UK Parliament/Gabriel Sainhas