Strategic Response 14

Supporting ecosystems and biodiversity

Biodiversity faces threats including habitat loss, fragmentation and over-exploitation. In the longer term,
temperature and changed rainfall patterns will also impact biodiversity. We will look for ways to help nature,
enhance biodiversity and promote ecosystem resilience while we carry out our water and sewerage activities. Welsh
Water has a duty under the Environment (Wales) Act (2016) to enhance biodiversity and promote the resilience of
ecosystems in the exercise of our functions.
SR14 - Supporting ecosystems and biodiversity with Tony Harrington

This strategic response includes:

We aim to protect the landscape, rivers and
coasts we operate in and the 40,000 hectares
of land which we manage directly aligning with
our biodiversity duty under the Environment
(Wales) Act 2016. We will:
• Report on progress in delivering our
statutory biodiversity plan, “Making Time
for Nature” and keep it under review.
• Raise awareness of biodiversity within the
business and look for opportunities to
harness the enthusiasm of our colleagues
for helping nature.
• Ensure that we take account of potential
impacts on nature in our Water Resources
Management Plan.
• Where appropriate, provide potential
habitats for nature at our sites, while not
impacting our operations.
• Plant trees in suitable areas within some of
our drinking water catchments in order to
secure land from erosion and landslip. In
selecting the species to plant, we will
consider how to maximise biodiversity gain.
• Continue to explore the potential role of
natural and social capital accounting for
improving our decision making processes.
• Work in partnership with others to play our
part in wider campaigns to help
biodiversity, e.g. through helping to reduce
the spread of invasive non-native species
or by increasing habitat connectivity

Research and Innovation

Welsh Water will explore the following
research topics to support this initiative:
• We will work with our regulators to improve
our understanding of the potential for our
practices to spread invasive non-native
species and the potential cost implications.
• Look for ways to improve the management
of protected sites in our stewardship, such
as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
• Within regulatory constraints, investigate
opportunities to harness nature based
approaches to water and wastewater
treatment, as well as surface water
management.
• Improve our understanding of the potential
contribution our sites could make to wider
habitat connectivity particularly focussing
on species and habitats of principal
importance for the purpose of maintaining
and enhancing biodiversity.
We will work with the Welsh Government,
Ofwat, Natural Resources Wales, the
Environment Agency and Local Authorities to
undertake this research.

Find out more 

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