Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has been awarded almost £1 million by Welsh Government’s Rural Development Programme to expand its successful PestSmart project which promotes the safe use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
PestSmart is a Welsh Water initiative which encourages people to consider a ‘smarter’, more sustainable approach to weed, pest and disease control that does not impact on people, water or wildlife.
Until now, the not-for-profit water company’s award winning work on pesticides has focussed on targeted trial areas but additional funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government means the project will now be delivered across Wales and expanded to include domestic pesticide users as well as professional users.
Ian Christie, Managing Director of Water Services at Welsh Water, said, “We were delighted to hear our bid to expand our PestSmart initiative was successful. Since starting this work in 2014, we have been working in partnership with land managers and communities in our drinking water catchments to deliver trials and create new ways of working to promote the safe use, storage and disposal of pesticides. This work has given us evidence and confidence that our approach will work on a Wales-wide scale and deliver multiple benefits for a healthy and prosperous Wales as outlined in our long term vision, Welsh Water 2050.
“By awarding almost £1 million funding to deliver our PestSmart initiative throughout Wales, Welsh Government has demonstrated a high level of confidence in our ability to deliver innovative, high quality projects.
“We are excited to start putting our PestSmart plans into action to turn pesticide best practice into common practice and will be sharing the outcomes of our work with Welsh Government and our partners. We hope the evidence this expanded project will bring will inform future ways of working for land management in Wales and help us to create a safe approach to pesticide use which will build resilience and safeguard our environment for years to come.
Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn AM, said: “Water is one of our most valuable natural assets in Wales. Our Water Strategy for Wales sets out our catchment-based approach, which is the best way to protect our water resources for future generations.
“We need to be imaginative in how we protect our water and PestSmart is an excellent example of the collaborative approaches we want to foster. I’m pleased PestSmart will be upscaled, which should help Welsh Water to deliver their industry-leading work on pesticides throughout Wales.”
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Welsh Water’s PestSmart project can visit their exhibition van at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, stand OS180 near the Pembrokeshire Tower, on Monday 26th November and Tuesday 27th November.
Welsh Water staff will be on hand to answer any queries on the project which will include the continuation of their award-winning targeted weed wiper trial and a Wales-wide pesticide disposal scheme.
Alternatively, you could visit our PestSmart page to find out more and register your interest for future trials and schemes.