- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
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Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has invested £10m to improve Pembrokeshire’s water supply
Senedd Member Joyce Watson has welcomed Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s statement that it ‘does not expect to have any hosepipe bans this summer.’
At Senedd Question Time on Tuesday (23 May), the Labour Mid and West Wales MS said last year’s drought had exposed the pressures on Wales’ water supply network.
She asked First Minister Mark Drakeford whether he was confident there would be no repeat of last year’s ‘Temporary Use Ban’, which affected around 60,000 properties served by the Llys-y-Frân reservoir near Haverfordwest .
Joyce Watson MS said:
“With summer around the corner, residents in west Wales who were affected by last summer’s hosepipe ban are keen to know whether the taps can be turned on this year.
“I understand that Welsh Water has invested £10 million to improve the network in Pembrokeshire, which is welcome, but are you satisfied, First Minister, that our water levels are strong, and with Welsh Water’s chief executive Peter Perry’s assurance that, ‘We do not expect to have any hosepipe bans over the summer’”.
Last year was the driest summer since 1976. The hosepipe ban was in place for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water customers in Pembrokeshire and parts of Carmarthenshire for more than 2 months, from August 19 to 25 October.
Responding to Mrs Watson, Mr Drakeford said:
“I went myself in August of last year to see the Llys-y-Frân reservoir in Pembrokeshire, which supplies that area. I’ve been there many times over many decades, but I was shocked at what I saw in August, because I’ve never seen that reservoir at such low levels of water retention.
“I’m very glad that Welsh Water Dŵr Cymru have agreed to make permanent a temporary solution that they had put in place to help increase water resource resilience in the Pembrokeshire area. Joyce Watson is right: it’s a £10 million scheme; Dŵr Cymru say that it will make Pembrokeshire resilient to a one-in-every-500-year drought.
“The current levels of water in Welsh reservoirs has recovered strongly, but, as Members here will have observed this year, the impact of climate change here in Wales is absolutely real. We move from a month where we had more rainfall than we have had for many decades to a month in which we have had almost no rainfall at all. This means that resilience, as Joyce Watson said, Llywydd, in the water system is an even greater challenge than it would have been in previous years.
“I hope that residents of Pembrokeshire, faced as they were last summer with the longest restrictions in water supply of any part in Wales, will see that the investment that has taken place since will put them in a better place for whatever weather we face in the rest of this calendar year.”
Last week, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water chief executive Peter Perry said:
“Our water resource levels are strong and we do not expect to have any hosepipe bans in our area over the summer.
“By this time last year we were already seeing the impact of a dry spring and were going into summer with water resources already depleted. This year, however, our water resources are at normal levels for this time of year.
“We have also invested £10m to improve the operational resilience of our network in Pembrokeshire where we were forced to introduce a hosepipe ban last summer. As a result of the more benign weather conditions and our investment, we do not currently foresee the need for any temporary restrictions this year.”
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