Guidance

Apply to renew a water abstraction licence

How to apply to renew your abstraction licence with the same terms, including what to do if the terms are different.

If you want to continue abstracting water after the date your licence expires you must apply to the Environment Agency to renew your licence.

You need to submit your application form and supporting information at least 3 months before your licence expires. As long as we’ve received your application, you can carry on abstracting water after the expiry date while we make our decision.

If we do not receive your application until after the expiry date we may:

  • not be able to grant your licence on the same terms
  • not be able to grant you a new licence
  • have to advertise your licence - you will have to pay the cost of this

If you abstract without a valid licence you may be breaking the law. We may take legal action against you.

Apply to renew your licence with different terms

If you want to change any of the terms of your current licence you must submit an application for a new licence.

Complete the application forms for a new licence.

Apply to renew your licence with exactly the same terms

Complete the form Application for a new licence to replace a time-limited licence or condition.

How to complete your renewal form

You need to complete one form per licence. You must make sure all the following details are correct - the licence:

  • holder’s name
  • holder’s contact details
  • number

You must demonstrate:

  • how you use water efficiently, such as irrigating at night or checking your pipes for leaks
  • your need to abstract the same quantities of water as your current licence and what you use the water for
  • how you’ve worked out the amount you use

We will only process your renewal application if you provide all of this information.

How to submit your renewal form

When you submit your form you must also provide:

  • £135 application fee
  • a map showing the area of land you have a right of access to and the abstraction point, reach or area you take water from

You must show you’re entitled to apply for a licence to abstract water from where you will abstract. You must either:

  • occupy the land
  • have a right of access to the land
  • expect to have a right of access from when the licence will take effect

You must have this right for at least one year or for as long as the licence lasts. You may need to prove you have the right by providing a:

  • deed
  • lease or tenancy agreement

The renewal form must be signed by the correct person. The following types of licence holder need signatures from these people:

  • individual - the individual
  • a number of individuals - each individual
  • limited liability partnership - a partner, company director or company secretary
  • registered company - company director or company secretary
  • public body (for example, a local authority or NHS trust) - a person authorised to sign documents on behalf of the organisation
  • partnerships - one or more of the partners
  • trust - all trustees, or the chairman, treasurer or secretary

What happens after you apply

The Environment Agency will consider the details in your form and grant you a licence as long as:

  • there are no changes to the existing licence
  • the details in the licence are correct
  • you submitted the application fee and map

We will use your abstraction data returns information when we consider our decision.

Your abstraction must be environmentally sustainable. We need to make sure there’s enough water available for everyone and the environment. If we think we may need to change your licence we’ll contact you to discuss our proposals.

How to contact us

Ask for your local water resources permitting team.

General enquiries

National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
Rotherham
S60 1BY

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Published 12 July 2018