10/04/2012 Taro Naw


10/04/2012

Materion cyfoes o Gymru a'r byd. Current affairs from Wales and the world.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 10/04/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Subtitles

0:00:000:00:00

A hosepipe ban is in force in the south and south-east of England...

0:00:000:00:04

..because of fears brought on by the worst drought in decades.

0:00:040:00:09

We can't do anything about it. All we can do is hope for rain.

0:00:090:00:13

As reservoirs in Wales are relatively full...

0:00:140:00:16

..some are calling for plans to transfer water to drought areas...

0:00:160:00:20

..over the border.

0:00:210:00:22

But these plans face opposition.

0:00:230:00:25

With Tryweryn as a backdrop, some question whether to charge for water.

0:00:250:00:30

It's Welsh water. Pay for it.

0:00:310:00:33

This business of England and Wales...

0:00:330:00:35

..people need to remember that we're part of England since 1536.

0:00:350:00:40

Tonight on Taro 9, we look at transfer of Welsh water to England.

0:00:400:00:45

Is there a price to pay?

0:00:450:00:47

Subtitles

0:00:470:00:49

Berkshire in south-east England.

0:01:180:01:21

A county which, like many neighboringregions...

0:01:220:01:24

..has been experiencing drought since February.

0:01:240:01:28

The last two years have been unusually dry...

0:01:280:01:32

..and groundwater is approaching its lowest ever levels.

0:01:320:01:37

One man feeling the affects is Derek Davies.

0:01:400:01:44

Born in Pembrokeshire, he's been farming near Reading for 20 years.

0:01:440:01:48

With over 300 dairy cows, water is essential to his business.

0:01:490:01:53

If I didn't have enough water...

0:01:530:01:57

..I wouldn't be able to keep the place clean...

0:01:570:02:00

..and as a result I'd probably lose my milk contract.

0:02:000:02:04

If I lost that, the cows would have to go.

0:02:040:02:07

It just wouldn't be worth it. That's the business.

0:02:070:02:11

He was so concerned about supplying the farm with water...

0:02:110:02:14

..that he constructed a borehole several years ago.

0:02:150:02:18

He also grows wheat and maize.

0:02:180:02:22

The affects of the drought are clear to see.

0:02:220:02:25

You can see that we've got a lot of gaps between the plants.

0:02:260:02:31

This should almost look like pasture land for grazing.

0:02:320:02:36

As you can see, it's so dry that the ground isn't full of plants.

0:02:360:02:41

We are desperate for rain. Lots of farmers are worried about it.

0:02:410:02:46

With a brother farming in Crymych...

0:02:460:02:49

..the difference between the two areas is apparent.

0:02:490:02:52

I was walking my brother's land. I couldn't believe the difference.

0:02:550:02:58

All we've got here is dust to work with...

0:02:580:03:01

..whereas my brother couldn't see the soil for plants.

0:03:020:03:05

Two and a half hours down the road makes all the difference.

0:03:050:03:09

The next few months will be challenging for the farm.

0:03:090:03:12

I don't know how much I'm going to grow.

0:03:140:03:17

Will I grow enough to feed the cows?

0:03:170:03:20

So I'll have buy feed and that's a concern...

0:03:200:03:23

..because I don't know how much to buy or spend.

0:03:240:03:27

The worry isn't confined to Berkshire.

0:03:290:03:33

Gwyn Jones has farmed in Sussex for 30 years.

0:03:330:03:38

He is accustomed to water saving measures...

0:03:380:03:41

..and has constructed a lagoon to store any rainwater that falls.

0:03:410:03:46

That's about half because as you see...

0:03:460:03:49

..it gets a lot bigger as it fills up.

0:03:490:03:52

This is about half full...

0:03:520:03:53

..and it would normally cover the island by now.

0:03:540:03:58

As you can see, the soil in Sussex is extremely dry.

0:03:580:04:02

It's another sunny day...

0:04:020:04:03

..with no sign that the situation is about to improve.

0:04:040:04:08

Last year saw just 40% of the average rainfall for the region.

0:04:080:04:14

The Met office says the year ending last October...

0:04:140:04:17

..was one of the driest since the extreme drought back in 1976.

0:04:170:04:23

This is all causing serious problems for farmers like Gwyn Jones.

0:04:230:04:28

He has just planted 500 acres of maize.

0:04:280:04:31

If the crop fails, the business faces losses of at least £150,000.

0:04:310:04:36

Even if it does grow to the extent that we get half...

0:04:370:04:41

..the tonnage we'd expect, that would instantly double its price...

0:04:420:04:46

..for the cattle and that wouldn't work out well.

0:04:460:04:52

And if it was drier than that, the crop would fail.

0:04:520:04:56

That would be very serious.

0:04:560:04:58

One of the major local concerns...

0:04:590:05:01

..is the impact drought has...

0:05:020:05:04

..on growing vegetables for supermarkets...

0:05:040:05:06

..and the conditions that apply.

0:05:060:05:09

If they've got a supermarket contract...

0:05:090:05:11

..if they fail to grow the crop...

0:05:120:05:14

..they frequently have to pay to send crop in its place.

0:05:140:05:18

They then have to shoulder those losses...

0:05:180:05:21

..and the costs mount up quickly.

0:05:210:05:23

On Thursday, a hosepipe ban came into force...

0:05:230:05:27

..across large parts of south and south-east England...

0:05:270:05:31

..and affecting 20 million people.

0:05:320:05:34

It means an end to hosepipe use for gardening and leisure.

0:05:340:05:38

The drought is a consequence of two dry winters.

0:05:390:05:43

Its impact on reservoirs is evident.

0:05:430:05:45

The water here at Ardingly reservoir in Sussex...

0:05:460:05:48

..is at half its average level for this time of year.

0:05:490:05:53

This is the scene you'd expect to see around July.

0:05:530:05:56

It's a different story in Wales.

0:05:560:05:58

Reservoirs there are practically full.

0:05:580:06:00

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has suggested...

0:06:010:06:03

..that water be transferred from Wales to England...

0:06:030:06:06

..to help prevent situations like this.

0:06:060:06:09

Many others agree with him.

0:06:090:06:12

John Elfed Jones was a prominent figure in the water industry.

0:06:150:06:19

He was chair and chief executive of Welsh Water for over 10 years.

0:06:190:06:24

He says transferring water should be seriously considered...

0:06:240:06:27

..as other options such as the desalination of seawater cost more.

0:06:270:06:31

It isn't easy with water...

0:06:310:06:33

..but water should be directed to the areas that need it.

0:06:340:06:38

Yes, there is a cost.

0:06:380:06:41

But who is...

0:06:410:06:43

Is our weather going to change so much in the next 50 years...

0:06:440:06:50

..that residents will turn round and say...

0:06:500:06:53

"Why on earth didn't they spend the money back then...

0:06:530:06:57

"..to set up the arrangement?"

0:06:570:06:59

I think it's about time we considered doing so.

0:07:000:07:03

A lack of urgency and a lack of vision...

0:07:030:07:06

..is all-too-often what has led to these difficulties.

0:07:060:07:09

But he adds that under any new arrangement...

0:07:090:07:14

..Wales must be paid for the water so there is potential for profit.

0:07:140:07:19

What is fairness in this situation?

0:07:200:07:22

Is it fair that Wales doesn't profit a penny...

0:07:220:07:25

..from water it exports to England?

0:07:250:07:30

That isn't fair at all.

0:07:300:07:33

There are four water companies that operate in Wales.

0:07:330:07:37

Welsh Water is the largest, supplying 1.2 million homes.

0:07:370:07:41

Severn Trent has over 27, 000 customers here.

0:07:410:07:47

They are also responsible for the Midlands...

0:07:470:07:49

..with water from the Elan Valley supplying Birmingham.

0:07:490:07:52

Dee Valley Water supplies the north-east...

0:07:520:07:55

..in areas such as Wrexham and Chester.

0:07:550:07:59

And even though United Utilities doesn't supply customers in Wales...

0:07:590:08:03

..Laky Vyrnwy and the river Dee supply their customers...

0:08:030:08:06

..in Liverpool and Manchester.

0:08:060:08:08

Wales is not paid for the water used by United Utilities...

0:08:120:08:16

..apart from a fee that's paid to the Environment Agency...

0:08:170:08:21

..for removal of water.

0:08:210:08:22

Welsh Water owns the reservoirs that supply Birmingham.

0:08:230:08:27

Severn Trent simply cover the cost of transporting the water.

0:08:270:08:32

The terms date back to the '80s, before the industry was privatized.

0:08:320:08:36

John Elfed Jones thinks it's about time we made a profit from water.

0:08:360:08:41

It should go to a water company so that people living in Wales...

0:08:410:08:46

..and industries that operate in Wales...

0:08:460:08:48

..can profit from a reduction in their costs.

0:08:490:08:54

That in turn, of course...

0:08:540:08:58

..would mean that Wales could attract more industries...

0:08:580:09:03

..that depend on water to come and set up in Wales.

0:09:030:09:08

One event casts a shadow...

0:09:130:09:16

..over mention of supplying Welsh water to England.

0:09:160:09:19

In 1965, the village of Capel Celyn in Tryweryn...

0:09:190:09:24

..was drowned to make a reservoir to supply Liverpool...

0:09:240:09:28

..despite opposition from local people and most Welsh MPs.

0:09:280:09:31

In 2005, the city of Liverpool issued an apology.

0:09:320:09:36

More than anything I remember the discussions back at home...

0:09:360:09:40

..between my mother and father and the local people.

0:09:400:09:45

They couldn't believe such a thing was happening.

0:09:450:09:48

I don't think my father's generation ever recovered from it.

0:09:490:09:53

As the old soldiers say, "They couldn't forget."

0:09:530:09:56

It stayed with them.

0:09:560:09:58

Rhodri Gwynlliw Jones lived in Capel Celyn...

0:09:580:10:01

..and was an eight-year-old pupil when the drowning occurred.

0:10:010:10:05

He believed the reason was to allow Liverpool to sell the water...

0:10:050:10:09

..without having to pay Wales a penny.

0:10:100:10:12

It was all to do with profit.

0:10:130:10:17

That's why they built the dam.

0:10:170:10:20

It had nothing to do with the people of Liverpool needing water.

0:10:200:10:25

It was solely driven by profit.

0:10:250:10:29

Eurgain Prysor was another resident of Capel Celyn.

0:10:290:10:32

She was the youngest protester to go to Liverpool against the decision.

0:10:320:10:37

I was three years old at the time.

0:10:370:10:40

It was a real adventure for a three-year-old child.

0:10:400:10:43

Rotten tomatoes were thrown at us when we reached Liverpool.

0:10:430:10:47

Even though years have gone by, the area is still hurting.

0:10:480:10:54

Families were scattered. The community disappeared.

0:10:560:11:00

Capel Celyn had no community after that.

0:11:000:11:02

Celyn residents paid a high price for it in the first place.

0:11:030:11:07

I think they made profit from us, and continue to do so.

0:11:080:11:12

Llyn Celyn supplies the river Dee.

0:11:120:11:15

Water is released to the river when necessary.

0:11:160:11:19

Eurgain Prysor feels as though being paid for the water...

0:11:190:11:23

..would be an acknowledgement of the injury done to the area.

0:11:230:11:28

If we were paid...

0:11:280:11:30

..in the economic situation we're in now...

0:11:300:11:33

..it would reduce domestic bills here in Wales.

0:11:330:11:36

Rhodri Jones doesn't want to see other areas drowned under new plans.

0:11:360:11:42

It is very unlikely another such event would happen nowadays.

0:11:430:11:47

He says in future Wales should make a profit from selling water.

0:11:470:11:51

That's what we got in Celyn.

0:11:510:11:53

We want the water, we're taking your homes.

0:11:540:11:57

We don't care what you say, we're sending you away like refugees.

0:11:570:12:03

No. Tough. Tough.

0:12:050:12:07

It's Welsh water. Tough. If they want it, they should pay.

0:12:070:12:12

But according to some, there's a different price to pay.

0:12:120:12:16

In 2006, an Environment Agency report concluded...

0:12:160:12:19

..that it was too expensive, environmentally and financially...

0:12:190:12:22

..to move the water.

0:12:220:12:24

Water is heavy, so it takes a lot of energy to move this water.

0:12:250:12:30

We have to think about carbon dioxide emissions...

0:12:300:12:33

..which could affect climate change.

0:12:330:12:36

During the last two years...

0:12:360:12:38

..some areas of Wales have come close to experiencing a drought.

0:12:380:12:42

The water rises quickly, and it can drop quickly.

0:12:430:12:47

That's why we have these reservoirs around Wales...

0:12:470:12:50

..so that we can use that water when it's dry.

0:12:500:12:54

There's this idea that we have plenty of water in Wales.

0:12:540:12:58

In the future, when climate change hits us...

0:12:580:13:01

..we'll have less water.

0:13:010:13:03

We'll have to consider how much water we use...

0:13:030:13:06

..before thinking about moving it to other areas.

0:13:070:13:10

The School of Engineering at Cardiff University.

0:13:100:13:14

Professor Roger Falconer is a lecturer here.

0:13:140:13:18

He recently chaired an international conference in Spain...

0:13:180:13:21

..on water management.

0:13:210:13:23

He says a scheme to move water from Wales to North East England...

0:13:230:13:27

..should be seriously considered.

0:13:280:13:29

Climate change is having a massive impact.

0:13:300:13:32

These projects take a long time to implement...

0:13:320:13:35

..and we need to be careful that we don't keep putting off...

0:13:360:13:40

..decisions that need to be made now with a 10 year lead time.

0:13:400:13:46

Two main engineering schemes are possible...

0:13:460:13:48

..to secure a significant supply of water.

0:13:490:13:52

One would be to build a new reservoir near Tewkesbury.

0:13:520:13:55

The water would be released into the Severn...

0:13:560:13:58

..and pumped into the Thames through new pipes...

0:13:580:14:02

..or by reopening old canals.

0:14:020:14:05

The other option would be to double the size...

0:14:050:14:09

..of the Craig Goch reservoir.

0:14:090:14:11

The water would be moved, according to demand, into the Severn...

0:14:110:14:15

..and then transferred to the Thames.

0:14:150:14:18

The raising of Craig Goch Dam, which is a dam of about 70 metres.

0:14:180:14:23

It's not a large dam by international standards...

0:14:240:14:27

..so it would not be a major civil engineering project.

0:14:270:14:31

After the break, we'll hear from the civil engineer...

0:14:320:14:35

..who has spent years developing the plans.

0:14:350:14:38

We'll also travel to another area which is facing a drought.

0:14:380:14:42

London. Home to almost eight million people.

0:14:530:14:56

A city, like many other areas in the south of England...

0:14:560:15:01

..facing a drought.

0:15:010:15:03

The population is expected to grow quickly...

0:15:030:15:06

..as is the demand for water.

0:15:060:15:09

Some have suggested moving water from Wales here...

0:15:090:15:12

..and there are calls to charge people for it.

0:15:120:15:16

But not everyone agrees.

0:15:160:15:18

Dr Carol Bell is a gas and oil expert.

0:15:180:15:21

Don't forget how much money flows from here in Westminster...

0:15:210:15:25

..down to Wales in the other direction.

0:15:260:15:28

The important thing for us is to have a share of the jobs...

0:15:280:15:33

..that would be created through the building of these resources.

0:15:330:15:37

That is the way to receive help during these difficult times.

0:15:370:15:42

And the water companies, like Welsh Water...

0:15:420:15:45

..will naturally make a fair profit from this process.

0:15:450:15:50

She doesn't think water should be considered in the same way as oil.

0:15:510:15:55

I think we have a system that works pretty well already.

0:15:560:16:01

This business of being between Wales and England...

0:16:020:16:05

..people have to remember their history.

0:16:050:16:07

We've been a part of England since 1536.

0:16:070:16:10

It's unreasonable to talk like this about water...

0:16:110:16:14

..which is a human right, unlike oil...

0:16:140:16:16

..which is something people can do without.

0:16:170:16:20

But what do the people of London think?

0:16:210:16:24

Do they think Wales should be paid for the water?

0:16:240:16:29

Definitely. Yes. I've got a flat in Wales!

0:16:290:16:32

I don't think so.

0:16:340:16:35

We're a United Kingdom, and all water should be shared.

0:16:360:16:39

If there's a drought...

0:16:390:16:41

..and we can move it to areas where there's less, then great.

0:16:410:16:45

To an extent. As long as it's not excessive.

0:16:450:16:49

Even if it means higher water bills for you?

0:16:490:16:52

I guess it's either that or nothing.

0:16:520:16:55

We'd probably charge Wales if it was the other way round.

0:16:550:17:00

It's probably fair.

0:17:000:17:02

The MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Elfyn Llwyd, wants to see...

0:17:020:17:07

..a fair price for the water, and says the Welsh Government...

0:17:070:17:11

..should receive the money, not the water companies.

0:17:120:17:15

If new sources of water were created, the Welsh Government...

0:17:160:17:19

..should pay, along with the recipient of the water...

0:17:200:17:25

..to build the infrastructure to create that resource...

0:17:250:17:30

..and should be paid back for the work..

0:17:300:17:36

..and for the water that crosses the border.

0:17:360:17:41

The industry is regulated.

0:17:410:17:44

In Wales and England, Ofwat ensures that prices are fair...

0:17:440:17:48

..and that the profit is controlled.

0:17:480:17:51

The Government also has a role.

0:17:510:17:54

Every five years, water companies in Wales and England...

0:17:540:17:57

..have to produce a water resources management plan.

0:17:580:18:01

It reveals how they would respond to the demand for water...

0:18:010:18:05

..in the next 25 years.

0:18:050:18:07

They also have to produce a drought plan.

0:18:070:18:10

In England, the UK Government approves that plan.

0:18:100:18:13

In Wales, it's the Government in Cardiff Bay.

0:18:130:18:17

The Westminster Government approves the plans of Severn Trent...

0:18:170:18:21

..and United Utilities.

0:18:210:18:25

It's not clear whether Cardiff or London would have the final say...

0:18:250:18:30

..about water that crosses the border.

0:18:300:18:33

The Government of Wales Act states that the Secretary of State...

0:18:340:18:38

..can intervene if English water supplies are seriously affected.

0:18:380:18:41

I raised it in 2005 or 2006 because it was suspicious...

0:18:420:18:45

..and was told it was academic.

0:18:460:18:48

But I think in this case...

0:18:480:18:50

..the Welsh Government should make the final decision.

0:18:500:18:53

It's an invaluable resource for us in Wales...

0:18:530:18:56

..and we should be able to develop it sensibly and sustainably...

0:18:560:19:00

..for the people of Wales.

0:19:000:19:02

The Welsh Government says there has to be evidence...

0:19:020:19:07

..that supplies are being affected before Westminster can intervene.

0:19:070:19:11

The starting point of a discussion about charging for Welsh water...

0:19:110:19:15

..is to secure a value for the resource...

0:19:150:19:18

..and to protect the environment.

0:19:180:19:21

But which plan is the most likely?

0:19:210:19:23

John Lawson is the former chair of the Civil Engineers Water Panel.

0:19:230:19:28

For years, he's investigated the possibility...

0:19:280:19:30

..of increasing the size of the Craig Goch reservoir.

0:19:310:19:34

He says that scheme remains the front-runner.

0:19:340:19:38

From the work I've done in the past...

0:19:380:19:41

..the studies always lead back to the raising of Craig Goch...

0:19:420:19:45

..if you need to have a big resource for southern England.

0:19:460:19:50

Although there need to be additional studies...

0:19:500:19:53

..until further evidence is produced to demonstrate...

0:19:540:19:56

..that actually is not possible, I think that would be the best way.

0:19:560:20:01

But the studies need to be done.

0:20:010:20:03

Companies like Thames Water...

0:20:030:20:05

..have considered and rejected the plan in the past.

0:20:050:20:10

It's more appealing for companies to build reservoirs...

0:20:100:20:13

..within their own borders, according to John Lawson.

0:20:130:20:17

Water companies like to own their own capital assets.

0:20:170:20:22

The amount of profit they're allowed to make by the regulator..

0:20:220:20:26

..is dependent on the value of the assets they own.

0:20:260:20:30

So they prefer to do it themselves...

0:20:310:20:33

..but that isn't necessarily the best thing.

0:20:330:20:36

Welsh Water owns the Craig Goch reservoir.

0:20:370:20:39

It says increasing the size of the reservoir isn't a solution...

0:20:390:20:44

..based on a report in 2006.

0:20:440:20:47

At the time, that cost was five times the cost of desalination...

0:20:470:20:51

..taking salt out of sea water to make it drinkable.

0:20:520:20:55

But now, energy costs have increased so much...

0:20:550:20:58

..and that cost would probably...

0:20:580:21:01

..be between five and ten times as much.

0:21:010:21:04

It might be possible technically...

0:21:050:21:07

..but it's not practical financially or environmentally.

0:21:070:21:12

The company isn't in favour of moving the water either.

0:21:130:21:20

The most important thing to us is to secure a water supply...

0:21:200:21:24

..for our customers here in Wales.

0:21:240:21:27

At the moment, it's not possible to move water from Wales...

0:21:270:21:31

..to the south east because the resources aren't available.

0:21:310:21:37

It would be too expensive...

0:21:370:21:39

..and it wouldn't be practical environmentally.

0:21:390:21:41

If it was possible financially and environmentally...

0:21:410:21:46

..we would look at it, but at the moment, it's not.

0:21:460:21:50

Severn Trent disagrees.

0:21:500:21:52

The company says water companies can work together...

0:21:520:21:55

..that customers can also benefit...

0:21:560:21:58

..and that there are several options.

0:21:580:22:01

There are a range of ideas around raising the dams in Wales...

0:22:010:22:06

..in Elan and Craig Goch.

0:22:060:22:08

Dwr Cymru are also looking at some of those ideas.

0:22:080:22:12

Nothing is ruled out, and we're identifying options.

0:22:120:22:14

In principle, there's no reason why Dwr Cymru...

0:22:150:22:17

..couldn't raise those dams, and sell that water.

0:22:180:22:21

Last year, Severn Trent paid over £6 million to Welsh Water...

0:22:210:22:25

..for water from the Elan Valley.

0:22:260:22:28

It didn't want to comment...

0:22:280:22:30

..on any change in the arrangement of paying for the water.

0:22:300:22:35

There's an arrangement between Severn Trent and Dwr Cymru.

0:22:350:22:38

We take water from Elan into Birmingham and we pay for that...

0:22:380:22:42

..but we can't comment on how they might wish to change that.

0:22:420:22:47

We contacted English water companies and asked them...

0:22:480:22:51

..for their opinion on paying to move water from Wales to England.

0:22:510:22:56

Most of them refused to answer directly...

0:22:560:22:59

..but they did offer other options.

0:22:590:23:01

They agreed it would be costly environmentally and financially...

0:23:020:23:05

..to move water from Wales to the south of England.

0:23:050:23:09

There's no sign of things improving in the near future.

0:23:090:23:13

Farmers remain concerned.

0:23:130:23:16

You can carry losses for a while but if the worst happens...

0:23:160:23:21

..and we have another dry year next year, it would be bad.

0:23:210:23:25

So far, there have been no discussions...

0:23:250:23:28

..between the Westminster and Welsh governments about any new plan.

0:23:290:23:33

But some say those discussions need to begin.

0:23:340:23:37

I think the Welsh Government should sit down with people...

0:23:380:23:42

..in Westminster to find the money to build these resources.

0:23:420:23:48

There are ways of raising the money...

0:23:490:23:51

..and they should start talking as soon as possible.

0:23:510:23:54

There's a price to pay for it...

0:23:550:23:57

..there's a structure to be developed...

0:23:580:24:00

..and there's a price on water, so let it happen.

0:24:000:24:05

S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:24:260:24:29

.

0:24:290:24:29

Materion cyfoes o Gymru a'r byd. Current affairs from Wales and the world.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS