Deadline looming for water abstraction licences

Published August 13th, 2019

Rules are changing for abstracting water so previously exempt geographical areas such as Severn River Authority and activities such as trickle irrigation will now need an abstraction licence.

Farmers and growers affected by the rule change have until the end of 2019 to get a licence and the Environment Agency (EA) is advising that applications for licences are made before the end of September 2019 to ensure all the necessary information is valid for processing.

The Water Resources  (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2017 remove most exemptions including the Severn River Authority Geographical exempt area meaning that most previously exempt abstractors will now have to apply for an abstraction licence where more than 20 cubic metres per day is abstracted from a groundwater source within the Severn River Authority geographical area.

You will also need to apply for a licence if you have a purpose based abstractions exemption such as water irrigation (other than spray irrigations which has always required a licence), managed wetland systems or where water is abstracted into and between internal drainage districts.

To apply for a licence visit and complete form WR344 and WR346.

You will need to provide evidence that abstraction took place during the seven-year qualifying period before the exemption was removed such as calculations of abstracted volumes, diagrams showing abstraction arrangements, maps, details of pumps or control structures used for abstraction.

After making an application you can continue to abstract water until a decision is made but if you don’t apply for a licence before December 31, 2019 the EA may take enforcement action.

For further assistance please contact your local Berrys office or email at the Shrewsbury office or at the Hereford office.

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