A UNION has called for water from a Powys reservoir to help meet demand in London – leading to an angry backlash from Plaid Cymru councillors.

GMB London has repeated its call for Thames Water and the Government to implement a Victorian plan to move water from Wales to cope with periodic droughts in London.

The proposition has been met with opposition and criticism from Plaid Cymru leader in Powys Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, who told the groups: “Get your house in order before taking more of Welsh water.”

The plan would see water taken from United Utilities at Lake Vyrnwy via the restoration of the Cotswold canals and Sapperton Canal Tunnel in Gloucester.

Mark Holland, GMB London Regional Organiser for the water industry, said: “As we experience yet another utterly predictable period of summer drought GMB is calling yet again on politicians and the public to urge Thames Water to implement a plan first developed by the Victorians to move water from the west of the UK into the Thames.

“This has the capacity to supply 300 million litres per day and as a bonus, the canals are restored for leisure and recreational use.


“This is a win-win plan. Thames Water should accept the water being offered by United Utilities from Lake Vyrnwy and get it to the Thames.”

However, Mr Vaughn and Plaid Cymru have voiced strong opposition to the proposal of supplying London with water from lake Vyrnwy.

Mr Vaughn said: “Get your house in order and stop trying to take all the resources from Wales all the time.

“You pay pittance for what is already taken, merely 3p a tonne or 1,000 litres. Yet water industry bosses are paid a fortune with reports that Thames Water bosses were awarded bonuses of £2.4m in 2020 and 2021 despite the company losing up to a quarter of all its water from leaks.

“This further highlights the need for water to be seen as a valuable resource, a commodity and Wales is fortunate to have it.

“However, we cannot allow it to be taken and used by large corporations and fritted away whilst our communities get pittance from it.

“Imagine the benefits to Powys if we merely got 1p a litre for it, the financial problems of our public services locally would be solved.”