Policy paper

Water abstraction plan 2017

Setting out how the government will reform the way we manage water abstraction, to protect the environment and improve access to water.



These documents set out what the government is doing to reform the management of water abstraction. They summarise how we will work with abstractors to make these changes.

The abstraction plan document summarises all the changes we plan to make. It should be read alongside the more detailed documents covering environment, catchment focus and abstraction licensing service.

Published 15 December 2017
Last updated 27 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Changed the date for moving abstraction and impounding regulations into the environmental permitting regulations (EPR) to September 2021.

  2. Updates to the Water abstraction plan and Abstraction licensing service - delivery time line for abstraction and impounding moving into the environmental permitting regulations (EPR).

  3. Updated the catchment focus attachment to include priority catchments established in 2019.

  4. Updated content on reviewing abstraction charges.

  5. Updated to reflect the change in timescale for moving abstraction and impoundment licensing into the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

  6. Updated to include the first four Initial Priority Catchments: Idle & Torne in East Midlands, The South Forty Foot in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire (also known as The Black Sluice), East Suffolk in East Anglia and Cam & Ely Ouse in East Anglia.

  7. Improved the links between the documents to make it clearer that they are all part of a set.

  8. First published.