Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food
Today, 7th April 2013, I am launching the Welsh Government’s Water Strategy for consultation. The development of a Water Strategy is a Programme for Government commitment. The aim is to ensure that our water resources are resilient, sustainable and are managed in a way that fully takes advantage of the benefits that are delivered to Wales and its citizens. The Strategy also sets out how we expect the management of water to contribute to wider Welsh Government policy, in line with our commitment to sustainable development. This includes our aspirations for jobs and growth, our contribution to the tacking poverty agenda and our wider aspirations in relation to natural resource management.
Our key proposals for the consultation are structurally along the following themes:
- Water for Nature, People and Business - This sets out how we intend our water resources to be sustainably managed, meeting society’s needs and offering opportunities for green growth and protecting and enhancing our natural environment. In particular, it sets out the links between this Strategy and the wider natural resource management approach which we are developing as a Government.
- Taking Action to Reduce Pollution - This sets out our proposals to tackle pollution through the adoption of good practices and procedures by land and business managers and by each of us as individuals.
- Improving the Way We Plan and Manage Our Water Services - This sets out how we will ensure that our water services remain robust, sustainable and support high quality services both now and in the future.
- Water Affordability and Delivering Excellent Services to Customers - This sets out our proposals for ensuring that people and businesses in Wales have access to affordable water and sewerage services that are sustainable, safe, secure and dependable.
- Protecting and Improving Drinking Water Quality - This sets out our approach to maintain the current high standard of our public drinking water quality, ensure compliance with the Drinking Water Directive and that any quality problems are dealt with effectively.
- A New Approach for Drainage - This sets out our approach to ensuring that both waste water and surface water are managed in an integrated way.
- Supporting Delivery - This sets out a number of overarching proposals that will support the delivery of our objectives and key outcomes.
We have talked to people and engaged extensively in preparing this Strategy. We are now consulting formally on our long-term policy direction for water in Wales.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and ends on ends on 4th July 2014.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.