Nearly £10m to help improve water quality in Wales

Friday July 3rd, 2020

Nearly £10m of capital funding will be used in 2020-21 to improve water quality across Wales and also tackle water pollution issues from abandoned metal mines.Government Opportunities

Over £5m will be allocated to a series of projects, working with partner organisations to improve water quality across Wales, including:

Nature Recovery Action Plan (£1.115m) –NRW will work with partners including Afonydd Cymru on measures for salmon and trout in Welsh waterways to restore fish habitat and improve breeding distribution;

Rural Development Plan (RDP), Glastir Small Grant Scheme (£1.5m) – match funding for a specific grant focusing on improving water quality;

Natural Flood Management Programme (£1m) – contribution to a dedicated scheme at catchment level combined with water quality improvement measures, to achieve both reduction in flood risk and improving water quality;

NRW Water Quality Improvement Projects (£802,000) – NRW will work with partners on 15 smaller scale projects to tackle areas affected by increased levels of pollutants, such as Phosphate and improve marine biodiversity; and

Research & Development (R&D) Projects (£1m) – the project will develop effective innovative solutions to minimise the long-term impact of metal mine water discharges, improve the ecological status of Welsh rivers and support a healthy farming industry. This includes innovative projects such as Coleg Sir Gar’s Gelli Aur Sustainable Farming Centre.

The Gelli Aur Sustainable Farming Centre aims to become a knowledge centre for the farming community, developing alternative systems for water and slurry management suitable for on farm use. The project will be led by Coleg Sir Gar in collaboration with NRW, Welsh Water, AHDB, Farming Connect and the farming unions.

In addition, NRW will receive £4.5m for a metal mine remediation programme, focusing on the most polluting abandoned mines to tackle water pollution issues.

Abandoned Metal Mines are one of the principal causes of failures of Water standards in Wales. Discharges from underground workings and leaching of metals from spoil heaps present significant sources of water pollution today, causing iron, zinc, lead and cadmium failures.

There are 1,300 abandoned metal mines in Wales that have been estimated to impact over 600km of river reaches.

The funding was agreed as part of the Welsh Government 2020-21 Budget.

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