Collection

Water abstraction returns

How to complete a water abstraction return and deadlines for returns.

Most abstraction licences will ask you to submit a record of your actual abstraction to the Environment Agency (known as ‘returns’). Even if you haven’t taken any water, you must submit a nil return if your licence states that you must report your water use.

Managing your water abstraction licence

How to complete your water abstraction return

You can complete your returns by either:

Deadlines for submitting water abstraction returns

The Environment Agency notifies you to complete a return Deadline to submit your return
End of March 28 April
End of October 28 November

Submit paper form

If you are not registered for online submission the Environment Agency will send you a form to complete when your return is due. The form is pre-populated with details about your abstraction licence.

Submit online

If you have registered to submit your return using GOR the Environment Agency will send you an email when your return is due. The web screen and GOR spreadsheet online will be pre-populated with details about your abstraction licence.

To register to submit your returns online email national-operator-returns@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Please provide the licence number(s) and licence holder name for the returns you want to submit. Also include your name and contact telephone number.

If you are not the licence holder please provide proof that you have their permission to make this request.

For more information contact the Environment Agency on: 03708 506 506 (see call charges).

Water abstraction returns - web screen guidance

You can submit your water abstraction return by completing the GOR web screens.

Water abstraction returns: spreadsheet guidance

You can download the spreadsheet to compile and upload your return. You will also need to refer to the meter manufacturer used drop down list values and method of non meter assessment drop down list values.

Water abstraction returns: XML schema

Use this XML schema, technical note and guidance to generate your own XML file and submit your return online. You will also need to refer to the meter manufacturer used drop down list values and method of non meter assessment drop down list values.

  1. Water abstraction returns: XML

    • Guidance
Published 15 September 2014
Last updated 17 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. New text to clarify how to submit returns online.
  2. First published.