Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams has warned that Wales is at risk of being exploited for water by the fracking industry in England.
Having submitted a written question asking whether the future growth of the fracking industry in England would require the use of water from Wales, Mr Williams received a response from the Energy Minister Michael Fallon confirming Plaid Cymru’s fears that Welsh resources may be exploited.
Mr Williams said that this strengthened the case for transferring full control over Welsh water from the UK Government to the Welsh Government.
Mr Williams said:
“Water is a hugely emotive issue in Wales and the Minister’s confirmation that Welsh water may be exploited to facilitate fracking in England proves that history is threatening to repeat itself.
“The UK Government has already given fracking the green light and huge shale gas exploration is set to take place in areas such as Lancashire and Cheshire over the coming years.
“This could see water from North Wales being extracted and transported to these areas across the border as the fracking process requires massive amounts of water that may not be available in those areas of England. Whilst these fracking companies could get water from Wales very cheaply, they will be raking it in from shale gas profits.
“At present, the Labour Welsh Government is powerless to stop this due to the 2006 Government of Wales Act which gives the UK Government the power to intervene in all matters relating to Welsh water.
“That is why Plaid Cymru calls for full control over water policy to be transferred from London to Wales in order to stop Welsh resources being exploited for English profits.
“All parties in Wales should commit to ensuring that control over Welsh water is put in Welsh hands.
“Wales needs these powers to put an end to the UK Government's plundering of Wales’ natural resources. Any wealth generated from them should be for the benefit of the people of Wales.”