Annual report and accounts 2021-22
Welcome to NRW’s annual report and accounts for 2021/22.
The pandemic challenged us all to rapidly adopt new ways of working and we are building on this momentum to drive innovation and improve our responsiveness to customer needs. Our Adfywio (Renewal) programme is reviewing where and how we work – looking at our buildings, transportation, and machinery. Reducing our carbon footprint is critical as we play our part in meeting the net zero targets. We are also improving our digital offering, enabling our customers to engage with us more effectively, securing efficiencies for us all.
As we emerge from restrictions it is clear that the benefits of online working are immense in terms of reductions in travel, equity of access and transparency and we must not lose these. However, reconnecting with partners and colleagues through in-person events and meetings will still be important, and critical to deepening and forging new relationships. Our stakeholders are very important to us, so we are actively exploring how we ensure our engagement is both meaningful, purposeful, and effective.
This approach has been key as part of the work of the Better River Quality task force. We know that the infrastructure to deal with our sewage in Wales is under considerable pressure from climate change, changes in population density and distribution, and new development. Without action, these pressures will contribute to an increase in the flows at treatment works, risking an increase in the number of spills from storm overflows (referred to as overflows) which have the potential to adversely impact on our water environment.
Coordinated action across organisations is essential if we are to achieve a change and improvement to the management and environmental regulation of overflows in Wales. I am very pleased to work with NRW colleagues, Welsh Government, Ofwat, DCWW and Hafren Dyfrdwy, Afonydd Cymru and Customer Council for Wales on the task force, which has been working diligently towards the publication of a joint Roadmap for better river quality in Wales. It focuses initially on storm overflows and provides an excellent footing for further joint working to improve sewage discharges in Wales.
Building this new model of partnership working has been stimulating as we have worked across organisational boundaries to build a common understanding of the issues, the part we can play collectively and as individual organisations in addressing this critical water quality issue. This investment of time is important and I am confident that this will put us on a firm footing to move forward quickly to address public concerns.
Finally, in my fourth year as Chair, I would like to give thanks to our staff for all their hard work in continuing to deliver during the challenges of the pandemic, and to thank our Board Members for their continued support - particularly to those who have come to the end of their terms with us during this last year. Elizabeth Heywood and Howard Davies have been outstanding contributors to the work of the board, and I offer my heartfelt appreciation for their support over the six years that they have both served with us.
- Sir David Henshaw, Chair
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