Helping you understand Welsh law

What is devolved?

The Assembly has legislative competence in relation to water supply, water resources management (including reservoirs), water quality and representation of consumers of water and sewerage services.

But the Assembly does not have competence to do anything which falls within one of the following exceptions:

  • appointment and regulation of any water undertaker whose area is not wholly or mainly in Wales;
  • licensing and regulation of any licensed water supplier, apart from regulation in relation to licensed activities using the supply system of a water undertaker whose area is wholly or mainly in Wales.

These exceptions recognise that the water industry is organised by reference to undertakers whose areas do not correspond to the geographical border between Wales and England.  Rather, some undertakers’ areas straddle the border.  The intention is that the governance of undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in Wales is for the National Assembly for Wales, and this intention is generally reflected also in the way in which Ministerial powers are conferred (that is, the Welsh Ministers have functions in relation to any undertaker whose area is wholly or mainly in Wales).

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