The Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

The Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, or SMNR, is a long-term goal for all of Wales, including industries, local government, and communities.

As a water company, the decisions we make today will affect our customers and the environment we all share for generations to come.

The Challenge

Wales faces many challenges, such as securing energy, creating jobs, tackling poverty and inequality, adapting to climate change, and improving people’s health and well-being. Meeting these challenges needs fresh ideas, and new ways of working. This includes our understanding of how we maintain, improve, and use our natural resources. For Welsh Water to be a more resilient business, and to continue to sustainably undertake our work, we need to work with nature and work in partnership with others to secure long-term benefits for everyone, including the environment. When our environment is working at its best, society thrives.

The Opportunity

The Wales Environment Act, introduces several measures to improve and protect the environment in Wales. It presents a change in methods to support and improve environmental issues; by encouraging a systemic approach and integration with the Future Generations Act, and the Planning Act, using the method of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources.

The 4 Aims of SMNR

To create a framework for SMNR action, NRW have introduced 4 Aims. The four aims are:

  • Safeguarded Natural Resources
  • Resilient Ecosystems
  • A Healthy Environment for People
  • A Regenerative Economy

Many of our existing plans and strategies are already delivering against the above aims. See below to understand more about how we are playing our part in a delivering healthy, well-functioning and resilient Wales.

Safeguarding natural resources examples




  • See how we are working at catchment scale to protect land, rivers and reservoirs to secure your drinking water for years to come here.







  • Learn more about Combined Storm Overflows (CSOs) and the essential role they play in keeping homes and communities safe from the risk of flooding during heavy rain (which happens more often due to climate change).




Resilient Ecosystems





A Healthy Environment for People

  • Learn how we are working with communities to tailor investment to local needs here





  • See how we are reducing our carbon footprint and energy costs here





A Regenerative Economy

Pilot Studies

As SMNR is a new approach. We are advancing the 4 Aims of SMNR in 4 pilot catchments, each catchment has unique characteristics that allows us and our stakeholders, to test myriad aspects and approaches to SMNR.