The UK Government says plans to encourage more competition in the water industry will not be imposed on Wales against the wishes of the Welsh Government. Legislation was announced in the Queen's Speech to reduce water companies' monopolies in an attempt to encourage more investment in the industry.
– Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP
We are working closely with the Welsh Government in finalising the Water Bill and have no intention of forcing competition on Wales. However making sure we have enough water is one of the major challenges we face in coming years. The changes we are making to the water industry will encourage economic growth and build resilience for the future.
The Welsh Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies had said that any intervention by UK ministers would be an "affront to democracy". He vowed to safeguard the not-for-profit status of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, which supplies most of Wales and some neighbouring parts of England.
Britain's other water companies make returns to their shareholders. They include Dee Valley Water, which supplies Wrexham and Chester, and Severn-Trent, which supplies part of Powys. Plaid Cymru says it would be better to extend Dwr Cymru Welsh Water's model to other companies.
– Plaid Cymru Environment Spokesperson Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM
There is no need to introduce further competition into the water market in Wales. In fact, the rest of the UK should learn from the Welsh situation. What we need is long-term stability so that Dwr Cymru Welsh Water can continue to build on the excellent results it has achieved so far.