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Carmarthenshire

Welsh Water facing criticism of large bonuses and creaking infrastructure in wake of hosepipe ban

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Following the news that residents in Pembrokeshire and parts of Carmarthenshire face a hosepipe ban this summer, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised Welsh Water for paying large bonuses to its bosses while infrastructure creaks.

Data from Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority, showed that 169.9 megalitres/day were being wasted through leakage in Welsh Water’s network during 2020-21. The company also failed to meet its Per capita consumption (PCC) targets which are designed to push for less water to be taken from the environment.

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The Welsh Liberal Democrats say that their analysis of Company House data shows that executives at Dŵr Cymru were paid £2.6 million in 2020 and 2021 including £931,000 in bonuses, benefits and incentives.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Jane Dodds MS said: “We cannot control the hot and dry weather, but we can control wastage through outdated or poorly-maintained infrastructure.

“Welsh Water brands itself as “not for profit”, yet we see them paying their executives eye-watering bonuses while their infrastructure is in desperate need of upgrades and they continue to pump raw sewage into our rivers.

“Bonuses are meant to reward outstanding behaviour, yet the record of Welsh Water is far from outstanding.

“From leaking pipes to sewage overflows, it is time Welsh Water put our environment and the public ahead of profit. I hope this summer’s drought is a wake-up call for both the Government in Cardiff Bay and Westminster to get tougher on water companies.”

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Ian Christie, Welsh Water’s Managing Director of Water Services said: “We have not seen such prolonged dry conditions in Pembrokeshire since 1976. Introducing the hosepipe ban is not a decision we have taken lightly, however if we are to make sure there is enough water to see us through the rest of the summer and into the autumn then we need to act now to try and prevent any further restrictions later on.

“The ban will apply to just over 2% of the three million population we serve in Wales. More broadly we do not intend to introduce restrictions more widely across our operating area.”

From 8am on 19 August, the company has announced that a hosepipe ban will come into force for customers in Pembrokeshire, and parts of Carmarthenshire. This will mean that residents will not be able to use a hosepipe to carry out activities in and around their properties such as watering plants or filling paddling pools or hot tubs.

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