Check water availability via your local CAMS. Find out if you need a licence and how to apply for one. Find out how to change an existing licence.
You probably need to apply for a licence if you want to impound water or take more than 20 cubic metres (4,000 gallons) of water per day from a:
- river or stream
- reservoir, lake or pond
- spring, or
- an underground source
- dock, channel, creek, bay, estuary or arm of the sea
Why we have licences
Without licences, persistent over abstraction or works that obstruct or impede the flow of water in a watercourse could lead to:
- shortages in water supply
- increased river pollution by reducing dilution of pollutants
- damage to fisheries and wildlife habitats, and
- the loss of rivers for our recreation and enjoyment
By licensing, we can control the level of abstraction to protect both water supplies and the environment.
What we do
Before you apply for licence
Before you apply for a licence or want to change an existing licence we strongly advise you to:
Refer to the Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy (CAMS) for your area. These describe the availability of water for abstraction in each catchment in England and Wales. It may be that no more water is available for abstraction in your area, so you might want to consider alternatives, for example, water rights trading.
Read the following documents:
Talk to one of our water resources permitting staff to discuss:
- which forms to complete and where to send them
Complete pre-application form WR48 (PDF, 386KB) (you can save and complete electronically or print and complete by hand). This gives our staff a good idea of what you'd like to do before you complete the main forms, and we can give you an indication of how successful your application is likely to be
Before you fill in the forms
- Read through the relevant form (includes guidance notes).
- Read through the separate guidance notes to make sure you have all the necessary information to hand (WR172 and WR176).
Phone 03708 506 506