Welsh Water highlights drinking water catchment management approach to Climate Change Minister

22 February 2023

Welsh Water's Catchment Team was invited to a one-off showcase event held for the Minister for Climate Change to demonstrate how partner organisations are working together within the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority area to address issues around water quality and other environmental concerns.

  • Welsh Water's Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment team present at Sêr Y Bannau showcase event outlining new Brecon Beacons National Park Authority management plan for Minister for Climate Change
  • BBMC offers key example of Welsh Water's commitment to work in partnership with others
  • 'Team Wales' and farmer-led approach welcomed by minister who says more ‘collective work’ is needed in the long term

Welsh Water's Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment (BBMC) programme works closely with the National Park Authority addressing issues in ways which are beneficial to both organisations. It also works closely with farmers in the area, having set up the Beacons Water Group. This cluster of six farmers from the Beacons area looks to find ways of improving business efficiency on farms while at the same time protecting water quality.

Nigel Elgar, project manager with the BBMC, said: "Our role in this group is very much one of a bottom-up approach. We share with them an understanding of the issues we face and then ask them what they can do to help. We've realised from past experience that we need to be flexible in our approach and step back a little to help farmers come up with the solutions we need using their knowledge and expertise."

It's an approach which was welcomed by the Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS. Following the event, she said: “It was great to take part in this showcase event in the Brecon Beacons and see first-hand the real solutions that can come from a Team Wales approach.

“It was great to see farmers and Dwr Cymru sharing their knowledge and expertise and we need to see more of this collective work as we look to develop long term, catchment-scale solutions for water quality issues.”

The Catchment Team is now looking to replicate the success of this group across Wales.

Nigel added: "We want to set up other clusters across Wales. Identifying simple and replicable interventions at minimum cost not only provides benefits to the farm business but also to water quality, so it's win-win all round."

The Minister was also told more about the Welsh Water’s PestSmart initiative which encourages people to consider smarter ways of weed, pest and disease control that do not impact on people, water or wildlife.

Further information on this initiative can be found here.