Abstraction and impoundment licences—applications and determinations
Abstraction and impoundment licences—applications and determinations

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Abstraction and impoundment licences—applications and determinations
  • When is an abstraction licence needed?
  • When is an impoundment licence needed?
  • Applying for a licence
  • Renewing a time-limited abstraction licence
  • Determining a licence application—procedure
  • Time period for determining licence applications
  • Right of appeal
  • Determining a licence application—considerations
  • Licensing strategy
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): To help businesses cope with the disruption caused by Coronavirus, COVID-19, the Environment Agency (EA) has published a series of temporary COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements (RPSs). COVID-19 RPSs are intended to minimise risks to the environment and human health where compliance with certain regulatory requirements is not possible due to COVID-19. They also cover specific circumstances where the EA have temporarily amended normal regulatory requirements. COVID-19 RPSs have been issued in several sectors including waste management, water industry and agriculture. Each COVID-19 RPS sets out the circumstances in which it applies and the conditions that must be complied with. If the conditions are complied with, including requirements to notify the EA or to obtain approval to use the COVID-19 RPS, then the EA will not normally take enforcement action. For more information on COVID-19 RPSs, see Q&A: What does coronavirus (COVID-19) mean for environmental compliance in areas such as environmental permitting?

When is an abstraction licence needed?

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:

  1. abstractions of 20 cubic metres or less a day, provided the abstraction is part of a single

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