PLAID Cymru has welcomed the backing of the Senedd to formally request the devolution of powers over water.

Full control over water policy still has not been transferred to the Welsh government, six years after it was due to have been completed.

In May, both the Welsh and UK governments said there are currently no plans for them to be handed over in the foreseeable future.

However, following the debate called by Plaid Cymru in the Senedd, the party’s spokesperson for Climate Change, Energy and Transport, Delyth Jewell MS welcomed the "historic call" that would "go a long way towards righting the many of the wrongs suffered by Wales over our most abundant natural resource".

The devolution of water policy was planned to transfer to Wales six years ago under the Wales Act 2017. Plaid Cymru recently uncovered that the Welsh Government had asked the UK Government to delay the devolution of Water, as set out in the 2017 Wales Act, in 2018. They had requested the devoution of water to not take place until 2022.

The former Welsh secretary Conservative MP Alun Cairns, who put the bill through Parliament, said at the time that he was appalled.

"It's meant that the Welsh government have had the opportunity to control the supply and the influence around water policy, and the decisions around water policy but have decided not to take it.

"I'm just aghast and just can't believe it."  

It was a disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act that revealed the Welsh Government’s Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn wrote to the UK’s then junior Environment Minister Therese Coffey asking her to delay the transfer of full powers over water to Wales.

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Following Wenesday evenings debate, Jewell said: “The message from Wales is clear – we must fix this geographical and ecological anomaly. The Welsh Parliament has backed Plaid Cymru’s calls for water to be fully devolved to Wales.

“The mechanism has been available to us since 2017 to gain the devolution of Water, but the Welsh government wrote to the UK Government to ask them to postpone the transferal of powers in 6 years ago.

"That’s 6 years we’ve been waiting for this to happen. In that time, water rates have soared, our rivers have been polluted with sewage and water that has been exported from Wales at minimal cost, has been available to companies based in England to sell on at profit.

“The time has come to turn the tide: for our future water bills to be stabilised, the cleanliness of our rivers to be secured, and for Wales’ most abundant natural resource to be used to benefit the communities of Wales.”