Abstracting water: a guide to getting your licence

Gives a brief outline why Environment Agency abstraction licences are necessary, when you need one and how to apply for one.

This publication was withdrawn on


[Withdrawn] Abstracting water - A guide to getting your licence

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If you want to remove or abstract water from a surface source (such as river, stream or canal) or from an underground source and take more than 20 cubic metres (approximately 4,400 gallons) a day, you will almost certainly need an abstraction licence.

This leaflet explains why and when licences are needed and how to apply for one.

Updates to this page

Published 17 February 2014
Last updated 30 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Withdrawing this document because it's out of date. Use the guidance 'Apply for a water abstraction or impounding licence' instead.

  2. First published.

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