Abstraction licensing strategies (CAMS process)

Find out how much water is available in your area by viewing Environment Agency abstraction licensing strategies.

The Environment Agency is responsible for managing water resources in England. We need to make sure there is:

  • enough water for people - public water supply, industry and agriculture
  • a healthy environment

The Environment Agency controls how much water is taken with a permitting system. The Environment Agency regulate existing licences and grant new ones. To do this they use:

  • the catchment abstraction management strategy (CAMS) process
  • abstraction licensing strategies

The publication ‘managing water abstraction’ sets out the approach and regulatory framework within which we will manage water resources.

You need a water abstraction licence from the Environment Agency to remove more than 20 cubic metres of water a day from a watercourse or underground water reserve in England.

The strategies below are grouped by Environment Agency areas. See a map showing the areas.

North East (map area 1)

Cumbria and Lancashire (map area 2)

Yorkshire (map area 3)

Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire (map area 4)

Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire (map area 5)

East Midlands (map area 6)

West Midlands (map area 7)

Wessex (map area 8)

Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (map area 9)

East Anglia (map area 10)

Thames (map area 11)

Hertfordshire and North London (map area 12)

Kent, South London and East Sussex (map area 13)

Solent and South Downs (map area 14)

Published 30 April 2014
Last updated 3 May 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added Teme ALS and Warwickshire Avon ALS to the West Midlands collection, April 2023

  2. Added to the collection page: 1) Till and Tweed abstraction licensing strategy (ALS). 2) Arun and Western Streams ALS. 3) Alt Crossens ALS. 4) South and West Somerset ALS. 5) East Devon ALS.

  3. Added links to new abstraction licensing stratagies for: Witham, Idle and Torne, East Suffolk, Cam and Ely Ouse.

  4. Updated Environment Agency area names and map areas.

  5. Re-titled linked publications to give consistent format.

  6. First published.