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Opportunity for people to shape the future of waters in Wales

NATURAL Resources Wales (NRW) is calling for people with an interest in the health of Wales’s water environment to participate in the first of a series of consultations about future plans to protect and improve water across Wales.

River Basin Management Plans are updated every six years, and set the direction for how NRW will manage, protect and improve Wales’s rivers, lakes, canals, groundwaters, estuaries and coastal waters.

The first consultation opened 29th May and will run until 20th December. It focusses on setting out the planning process and identifying people, groups and organisations who wish to participate in the development of the next River Basin Management plans.

A second six-month consultation will open in June 2025, which will focus on identifying the challenges facing water management and developing solutions and actions.

Draft River Basin Management Plans will then be published and consulted on in June 2026, before the final plans are published in December 2027.

Natalie Hall, Sustainable Water Manager from NRW said: “Water is one of our most valuable natural resources, creating and sustaining the ecosystems upon which all life depends.

“But our water environment is under increased pressure. A growing population, climate change, declining biodiversity and pollution are all real threats.

“Developing the next set of River Basin Management Plans provides us with an opportunity to set new ambitions for managing our waters in Wales. Through the process we will expand and update our understanding about the current state of our water environment, the pressures acting upon it and what measures are required to improve and protect it.

“We want to embrace the increased interest in water and hope to work with a wide range of groups, communities and organisations to learn from everyone’s experiences and knowledge about our waters in Wales.”

NRW leads on the Western Wales and the Dee River Basin Management Plans.

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In cross border catchments, NRW works jointly with the Environment Agency to understand and address the threats to the water environment.

The Severn River Basin Management Plan will be led by the Environment Agency, in partnership with NRW. Further details about the Severn public consultation will be announced later in the year.

People interested in participating can find more information and respond to the consultation on NRW’s consultation web page.

Anyone unable to participate in the online consultation can complete a paper copy by emailing [email protected] or calling 03000 65 3000.