The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Any person who abstracts more than 20 cubic metres (4,000 gallons) of water per day from surface waters (river, stream, lake, pond, reservoir, canal, spring, dock, channel, bay) or groundwater, must obtain an abstraction licence from the Environment Agency (EA) or Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
A licence is not required for:
abstractions of 20 cubic metres or less a day, provided the abstraction is part of a single operation
some land drainage, flood protection, mining, quarries and engineering operations
use on ships or boats
On 15 January 2016, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh Government, the EA and NRW published a joint consultation on Changes to Water Abstraction Licensing Exemptions in England and Wales—New Authorisations. The consultation proposed that the following previously exempt activities should be brought into the licensing system and require a New Authorisation:
water transfers by navigation, harbour or conservancy authorities
abstraction of water into internal drainage districts
dewatering mines, quarries and engineering works
all forms of irrigation and the use of land drainage systems in reverse to maintain field water levels
abstractions in exempt areas
abstractions covered by Crown and visiting forces exemptions
The New Authorisations consultation overlapped with another paper in January 2016 outlining the government's proposals for reforming the water abstraction management system in
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