If you want to abstract more than 20 cubic metres of surface water a day, depending on what you want to do, there are three different types of abstraction licence and several application forms you need to complete.
Before you complete your application, please read our guidance:
Use form WR48, it's very short and will help our staff assess the viability of your proposal. You can save and complete electronically or print and fill in by hand.
To abstract water for any purpose lasting less than 28 days. Use 2 forms:
To abstract water but only for the purpose of transferring it from one source of supply to another (or the same source but at a different point) without intervening use for a period of more than 28 days. Use 3 forms:
To abstract water for any purpose over a period of more than 28 days which is not covered by the other types of abstraction. Use forms WR173, WR174 and WR176.
If you plan to abstract groundwater from a borehole or well, please contact us before you make an application. It may be necessary to apply for a separate consent to construct the borehole or well and complete a test pumping of it.
Replacing a time-limited licence
If you want to replace a time-limited licence that is nearing expiry, you need to apply for a new full or transfer licence as appropriate. Please use the application forms provided above. You should send your application to replace your licence to us at least 3 months before your existing licence is due to expire. If you submit your application after this time, there is a risk that we may not be able to replace your licence. If there is likely to be any difficulty in granting you a replacement licence or we need you to provide any extra information to support your application for a replacement then we will normally have told you about this before this stage. If not, we will tell you when we receive your application.
Os ydych yn bwriadu adeiladu, addasu neu dynnu adeiladwaith cronni (argae), byddwch gystal â darllen ein safbwynt rheoliadol ynghylch cronni o berygl isel er mwyn gweld pryd fyddwn yn mynd ar drywydd cais am drwydded cronni
- If you apply for a new licence, or want to increase the amount of water you can abstract under your existing licence, you have to pay an application fee of £135. You pay this when you submit your application. Please make cheques payable to ‘The Environment Agency’ and please do not send cash.
- Some applications have to be advertised. If we need to give notice of your application, you need to pay an additional administration fee of £100 and pay us for advertising your application in the local newspaper.
- Most abstraction licences also attract an annual charge.
- To estimate your annual bill, use:
You can contact us by:
Telephone: 0370 8506506 (Monday - Friday 8 - 6)
By post (the address for all completed application forms):
Permitting Support Centre
Water Resources Team
99 Parkway Avenue
Parkway Business Park
Sheffield S9 4WF
We prefer to correspond by email. If you are happy for us to send all correspondence relating to your licence application by email please only provide your email address. If you want to receive correspondence by post, please leave the email address section blank on the forms.
After we've received your application
- We check that the forms have been completed correctly. If there’s information missing we’ll get back to you quickly.
- We aim to process temporary licence applications within 28 days.
- We aim to process all other licence applications within three months. If we need to advertise your application, this adds an extra month to the process.
- View our current notices of water resources licence applications
Protecting European Eel
European and UK legislation aims to protect eel stocks and return them to sustainable levels. The Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 specifically protects the passage of eel through our rivers. Any abstraction or impoundment licence application will be assessed to establish if the eel passge regulations apply. If appropriate, through conditions on your licence we may require you to:
- construct an eel pass where there are obstructions to eel passage such as dams, weirs or similar impoundments.
- screen intakes for abstractions to prevent the entrainment of eel.