With all that’s going on, don’t forget to submit your 2019/20 abstraction returns.
If you have signiﬁ cantly under abstracted for a number of years, then be mindful that it may be diﬃ cult to justify your existing volumes at licence renewal. Planning ahead is therefore key.
It goes without saying that we are here to help our clients with both the submission of abstraction returns and planning strategically for how best to manage water within existing licensed volumes, or ways to increase existing licences.
31st March marks the end of the abstraction licensing year in England and Wales. The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales should contact you in writing notifying you of the legal requirement to submit your abstraction licence returns no later than 28th April.
Returns can be submitted either online or as a hard copy. The preference is for online submissions but please note that this requires the licence holder to set up an online account and provide access to any agents that act on their behalf.
Licence submissions can be tricky. It’s important to quality check returns data and ensure consistency with licence conditions.
It’s also a good time to think about your history of abstraction. If you have over abstracted, then expect a follow up conversation with the regulator. There will need to be a clear justiﬁ cation for this and a plan for bringing abstraction back within the licensed limits or applying for additional volume.
EXEMPT ABSTRACTIONS: A NEW ERA
Envireau Water has have been leading the way in ensuring their clients are well informed of the changes to abstraction licensing that came into eﬀ ect at the beginning of 2018. The Transitional Arrangements for licensing historically exempt abstractions have now been extended to the 30th June 2020. But, it’s time to consider a new era that introduces two important situations.
Their expert, James Dodds explains
“The ﬁrst is where you were abstracting before 31st December 2017, which should have been covered by a validated transitional arrangement application. If not, you need to apply NOW. The second is where you plan to abstract after that date which means an abstraction licence is needed BEFORE you start and don’t forget that changes to licences or validated applications are needed BEFORE you make changes to your abstraction point or pumping arrangements.”
It is important to take note that new licences or changes will take months to arrange and could take years to obtain. The licensing process in theory is simple, however, there are multiple considerations…
- Can you justify the quantity of water you want and that it is available?
- Will the abstraction impact on the natural environment?
- Will the abstraction impede other abstractors legitimate right to abstract?Learn more! Contact Envirogen’s technical lead James@envireauwater.co.uk.