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Environment Agency consults on water abstraction charges

The Environment Agency has launched a consultation on changes to the way licence holders are charged to abstract water from the environment.

England is facing increased pressure on its water resources due to population growth and climate change. Based on recent projections, more than 3.4 billion additional litres per day will be needed in England by 2050, 23% more than today’s supplies. Without action, there is a risk of significant water shortages in parts of the country.

The water needs of the environment, society and the economy need to be balanced, both now and in the future. All businesses are required to have an abstraction licence to take more than 20 cubic metres a day from a river, stream, canal or groundwater. Reviewing and updating the way organisations are charged for these licences will help manage and protect our water resources.

The new proposed charges – which have not changed for the past 10 years – will be based on:

- the volume of water taken from the environment;
- where the water is taken from; and
- how much of that water is returned to the environment

The Environment Agency consultation is open until 10 November. The new charging scheme will then be implemented from 1 April 2022

More details can be found here