Considerable progress has been made over the last 30 years to clean up Welsh rivers from the damage caused by an industrial past. The river Taff, for example, often ran black and was virtually lifeless but now supports thriving fish populations, including salmon.
While chemical water pollution from industry has significantly decreased in recent years, the hoped-for widespread improvements to the ecology of our rivers from the introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive have not been delivered. Currently, only 40% of Wales waterbodies achieve the target of Good Ecological Status (GES). In 2021, the Senedd declared a nature crisis for Wales.