Consultation outcome

Water abstraction licensing: changes to exemptions in England and Wales

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Government response

Detail of outcome

Our response sets out the decisions we have taken following this consultation.

We will now make changes to the exemptions in the abstraction licensing system. We will lay regulations in Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales that will take effect on 1 January 2018.

Abstractors who were previously exempt will then be able to start applying for licences.

Feedback received

Summary of responses

Detail of feedback received

There were 86 responses to the consultation.

Original consultation


Seeking views on the proposal to extend the water abstraction licensing system to include most water abstractors who are currently exempt.

This consultation was held on another website.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We want to know what you think about our plans to bring most exempt abstractors into the licensing system (‘New Authorisations’). This will allow the regulators to better manage water resources and help to balance the needs of all abstractors and the environment.

Both existing licensed abstractors and exempt abstractors will be interested in the consultation and we encourage you to share this widely. The consultation document also contains our response to the 2009 consultation.

Further information

Published 15 January 2016
Last updated 31 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added the government response to the consultation.
  2. Summary of responses added.
  3. First published.