Businesses Urged To Check Water Abstraction Licences

Water consultants - H2O Building Services


Businesses around the UK have been called upon to check their abstraction licences so they know when to reduce or stop the amount of water they abstract, as well as making themselves aware of any specific conditions that may apply.


Restrictions can be brought in after spells of dry weather so it’s important that landowners and businesses alike with boreholes, wells and springs know what their responsibilities are.


These licences are used by the Environment Agency to help it with water management, showing where water is available in different river catchments around the UK.


If you have plans in place to expand your business and know you may need more water in the future, or if you want to abstract over 20 cubic metres a day, make sure you check to see if there is sufficient water available in your area.


Apparently, illegal abstraction is on the rise in some parts of the Westcountry where boreholes are being drilled without approval in place. Prospective abstractors are being urged to get in touch with the Agency to find out how best to stay compliant with the relevant legislation.


“It is essential licence conditions are complied with to help protect the environment.

Failure to do so is an offence and can result in enforcement action. We are undertaking spot checks to ensure licence holders remain compliant,” senior environment officer at the Agency Caz Lane said.


Back in July, the Agency revealed that drones would be used for the first time to bring in information about illegal abstraction in the fenland areas of East Anglia. High visibility patrols are carried out every year by regulatory officers throughout the irrigation season to make sure that farmers and landowners are following the conditions of their licences and not harming the environment.


The heatwave of 2018 saw numerous licence holders breaching the conditions set. If irrigators are found to be making illegal abstractions, enforcement action will be taken, anything from written warnings and civil sanctions to prosecution.


As well as the drones, five new environment officers have been appointed to help manage water resources, carrying out inspections in riskier catchments. Those in the east of the region were also advised that the frequency of patrol and compliance checks are increasing.


The government has helpful advice for anyone applying for a licence to make sure they’re applying for the right one. Full licences are for most types of water abstraction over 20 cubic metres a day, while temporary licences can be awarded if you need to abstract over 20 cubic metres of water each day for a period of less than 28 days.


Are you interested in finding out how you can make public sector water savings? Get in touch with us here at H2o to see how we can help.