Abstracting water? Think before you drill

Flat-bed lorry with tall drill at rear to dig a borehole

Potential abstractors should contact the Environment Agency to check about compliance first

With river levels and groundwater falling, landowners and businesses with boreholes, wells and springs are being urged to take a few simple steps to make sure they aren’t taking too much water.

One of the first things people should do is check their abstraction licence. Restrictions can come into force after periods of dry weather so it is important licence holders know when to stop or reduce the amount of water they abstract. They also need to be aware of any specific conditions that apply.

If you expand your business and require more water or if you want to start abstracting more than 20 cubic metres a day, don’t forget to check whether sufficient water is available in your area.

The Environment Agency uses Abstraction Licensing Strategies to help plan the management of water resources. They show where water may be available in various river catchments. People are urged to check first before they apply for a licence.

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