Abstraction Licence


Frequently Asked Questions

Water Abstraction Licence

Q: What is a licence?

In England and Wales, under the Water Act 2003, any borehole, well or other ground water source from which you intend to draw water requires that a Clause 32 Consent be aquired from your local Environment Agency but only under specific conditions. Those mainly being the amount of water you require in any one 24hr period.

Q: Do I need a licence?

The conditions under which a licence is required are if you intend to draw more than 20 tonnes per day.
20 tonnes is a lot of water and to put that into perspective, a dairy farmer with 400 head of cattle will use less than 20 tonnes under normal conditions. A family of four use's just 1 tonne per day.

So the answer for the average domestic and commercial use of it would be a simple no.

Q: How much does a licence cost?

Each local authority sets their own rates for the application of a licence however the average is around £700 per year (this may change slightly since time of writting).

Q: How much is one tonne?

One tonne is one metric tonne of water. Sometimes refered to as a cube or CU or one m³ and which is equal to 1000 litres, or one kiloliters, or 1000 kilos weight of typical analysis fresh water at sea level.

It should not be confused with the 'ton' which is one of the old English imperial weights and which has no relationship what so ever with water volumes or weights.