Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hands off our Welsh water




It is becoming increasingly apparent that water is going to be a valuable resource for the people of Wales in the years to come. It is now imperative that Plaid Cymru leads a positive national campaign to safeguard the future of Wales' water resources.

The issue was brought into sharp relief this week when the National Farmers' Union in England called for the exploitation of Wales' water for the benefit of the drought-hit south-east of England. Plaid Cymru's evidence to the UK Government's Commission on Devolution, also known as the Silk Commission, calls for the Welsh Government to be given the power to levy new taxes.

Plaid Cymru must make sure that people in Wales fully benefit from any future exploitation of Welsh resources. Water has a deep emotional resonance amongst the Welsh people. It is a crucial part of our national history and we have a lot of it. The story of Tryweryn still rings true: Wales has an abundant resource which thirsty parts of the state desire. We must play to our strengths and we should allow the export of our water - but on the condition that the people of Wales should see the benefit.

At the moment it is not possible to directly charge money for water that specifically goes to England, because in the privatised water market there aren't any national borders. However, if future changes are made to the market in line with the climate change agenda, we must make sure that Wales is in a position to benefit financially. At the moment water is not that valuable in raw monetary terms. But this could change. Any new taxes we could levy on water would be looking to the future and specifically to any new reservoirs or other pieces of infrastructure that might be developed in Wales.

The UK Government is developing a new water policy which may also involve legislation. The Welsh Government is also interested in water having recently issued a statement about its role in combating climate change. It is no coincidence that the Government of Wales Act specifically excludes the Assembly from making any laws relating to water supply. Why don't the powers-that-be want Wales to decide on our own natural resources?

These resources should belong to the Welsh people, not to corporations or to the UK Government.

9 comments:

You mean there's more??? said...

Absolutely spot on. So many things are simply taken from Wales for nothing, then the UK government tell us how they "subsudise" Wales.

Come independence we will have a range of currency streams from things that are currently simply stolen for free

Valleys Mam said...

It does belong to us Dwr Cymru is set up as a Social Enterprise for the benefit of the people of Wales
We just need to make sure that pressure isnt put on them to change their mems and arts to open the market up to competition. If you speak to The CEO he will fill you in on the fight they have had to keep the governance as it is

Sara Williams said...

interestingly enough, my mam and I were discussing the topic between ourselves today. Considering the celts were pushed into the geographical locations that we are in today I think its rich that we should be further exploited not only through coal and water but wind farms too.

Ambiorix said...

This is unbelievable!

Andy said...

Hands off the extra money funnelled to you via the Barnett Formula!

stuart said...

Who owns Welsh water?. It certainly isn't us.

Derek Lucas said...

the experts agree that owing to climate change and world pop increase water is going to become as priceless as oil. This time we have a welsh assembly govt with powers we have a voice lets use it to ensure the people of wales dont let the past repeat itselfie coal all we had to show were slagheaps and ind diseases THIS TIME LETS BENEFIT FROM OUR NATURAL RESOURCES

AVBK said...

There is an informative study of England and Wales water companies at
www.bath.ac.uk/.../cri/.../14_Bailey.pdfTebyg
It is not up to date - it was written in 2003 but just a cursory look-through will show what a tangled subject water is. The two companies that concern us are Severn Trent and Dwr Cymru. All water companies were privatised in 1989 and some even have overseas owners. Each water company owns its own reservoirs, treatment works, distribution pipes and sewers.

It's worth giving it a look because the more info you get the more ideas start bubbling up...

Fair-Play said...

Water is beyond doubt the most highly valuable and precious natural resource of all because it is impossible for life to exist without it. Pro Unionists are peddling the notion that we are getting more than a fair share of cash from England .In 1984 Thatcher government imposed a contract upon Welsh Water compelling it to sell water to Severn Trent Water Authority. This was clearly an acknowledgement that Wales or its water Authorities has a right to expect payment of water it exports to England. However the terms of contract are outrageously favourable to Severn Trent and can only be described as extreme plunder. The contract states that Welsh Water must supply Severn Trent with a quantity approaching 360 million litres ( 80 million gallons) of water daily for 3 pence PER TONNE( 73 GALLONS FOR 1 PENNY !!!! ) and this contract runs until March 31 2073 but the contract also has a written-in clause for a renewal option for another 99 years. This daylight robbery plunder must be re-negotiated to ensure that Welsh water is able to charge a fair rate for its water. Liverpool looked at centrl Wales and was allowed to erect a dam to impound water from the upper reaches of Afon Efyrnwy and its tributaries. Also Birmingham decided to follow and decided the Elan valley would be good place to extract huge quantities of water and so did Liverpool decide to flood a Welsh whole village for their abundant water supply. Enough is enough Wales must now stand up and lets make sure we get fair play and not be allowed to never again be further exploited.