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First Minister hosts summit on solutions to river pollution

Y Prif Weinidog yn cynnal cynhadledd i drafod llygredd mewn afonydd

The First Minister will host a summit today at the Royal Welsh Show to identify ways of reducing pollution in Welsh rivers.

Representatives from local government, farming unions, the building industry, water companies, regulators and environmental agencies, together with food producers will attend the meeting on the Royal Welsh Agricultural Showground in Builth Wells.

Excessive phosphorus levels in Special Area of Conservation rivers are harming delicate ecosystems and wider catchment areas and could lead to problems with food production and affect housebuilding in the longer term.

The Welsh Government is investing £40m over the next three years to tackle river pollution and to protect our environment.

Protecting and improving the water environment is a priority for the Welsh Government and plays a central role in the response to the nature and climate emergencies.

Speaking ahead of the summit, First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“It is only by working together that we can tackle phosphorus pollution in our rivers.

“This is a complex issue and there is no one easy answer – we all have a part to play if we are to reduce the level of phosphorus and tackle the root causes of pollution.

“We must work together with the farming sector, with food producers and the water industry to find solutions to these problems, which is why I have called this summit at the Royal Welsh.”

Minister for Climate Change Julie James, who will take part in the summit. said:

“We must act now to tackle the high phosphorus levels in our rivers that impacts so negatively on the environment.

“We will continue to work with all our partners to address these challenges.

"The resilience of our marine and freshwater ecosystems and the benefits they provide must not be jeopardised for future generations.”

Notes to editors

Picture: Crown Copyright