top of page
  • by Karma Loveday

Looming water shortages prompt abstraction charge changes

The Environment Agency is consulting for 12 weeks until 10 November on a new abstraction charging scheme for implementation from 1 April 2022.

Abstraction charges have not changed for a decade, but in light of pressures on resources and the environment, the Agency has proposed a new system under which charges will be based on:

• the volume of water taken from the environment;

• where the water is taken from; and

• how much of that water is returned to the environment.

The agency said under the proposals, around 45% of abstractors will see their annual charges decrease and 55% will see an increase. Overall, three quarters (75%) of all abstractors will see either a decrease or an increase of less than £100.

There will also be higher initial application fees for new applicants, in line with charges for other permitting regimes.

The agency explained: “The changes will benefit the environment by enabling the Environment Agency to invest more in upgrading infrastructure assets to move water around the country, using data to improve local management of water resources and protecting water-stressed catchments such as chalk streams.”

The changes are proposed in light of projections that more than 3.4 billion additional litres per day will be needed in England by 2050, 23% more than today’s supplies. “Without action, we risk of significant water shortages in parts of the country,” the regulator said.


bottom of page