We charge abstraction licence holders to fund the costs we incur in ensuring water resources are managed effectively. This includes ensuring the rights of existing licence holders to abstract water are protected against the granting of new licences.
We have a responsibility to protect and improve the quality of rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and ground waters, by controlling pollution and regulating discharges and abstractions.
We encourage the sustainable use of water. We work to conserve, distribute, augment and secure the proper and efficient use of water resources.
Since 2008 we have charged an Environmental Improvement Unit Charge (EIUC) to cover the costs of compensating abstractors where we compulsorily vary or revoke abstraction licences to reduce the risk of environmental damage caused by taking too much water.
The information provided here is only a summary. For full details please see the Abstraction Charging Scheme:
Types of charge
In recovering our costs incurred through regulating water abstraction there are four types of charge:
If our input to a pre-application discussion exceeds 15 hours, we will normally be unable to provide additional advice without levying a charge.
Application charge for new or varied licences
The application charge is usually payable by everyone applying for any licence to abstract or impound water, or to vary an existing licence, and is payable when they apply. There are some exceptions, details of which can be found in the Abstraction charging scheme.
Advertising administration charge
When we have to place an advert in a local newspaper as part of the application process we will charge the applicant the cost of preparing the notice and arranging publication. The actual cost of publication will be recovered separately. We have no control over the rates charged by local newspapers.
The annual subsistence charge, which comprises the Standard Unit Charge (SUC) and the Environmental Improvement Unit Charge (EUIC), is usually payable by everyone who holds a full licence to abstract water. We will invoice for this.
Annual subsistence charges are not payable for temporary licences, transfer licences or for licences to impound water. Other limited exceptions to the annual subsistence charge can be found in the Abstraction charging scheme.
How the charges are structured
The application charge and the advertising administration charge are fixed charges.
The subsistence charge is calculated from the following factors:
- Volume - annual licensed volume (in '000 cubic metres)
- Source - unsupported, supported or tidal
- Season - summer, winter or all year
- Loss - high, medium, low or very low
- Standard Unit Charge (SUC) - for the applicable region
- Environmental Improvement Unit Charge (EUIC) - to recover the costs of compensation payments
Note: There is a minimum annual subsistence charge.
Charges for 2013/14
To calculate your annual charge you can use our charge calculator (except for public water supply abstractions by statutory water companies, abstractions from canals managed by British Waterways, aggregated licences, and licences where more than one answer applies to the Where, When and What questions).
For more information on how the subsistence charge is calculated please see the Abstraction charging scheme.
Application charge: £135
Advertising administration charge: £100
Minimum subsistence charge: £25
Standard Unit and Environmental Improvement Unit charges
||Standard Unit Charge
|Non Water Companies - Environmental Improvement Unit Charge
|Water Companies - Environmental Improvement Unit Charge
(£/1000m3) * Please see note below
|South West (inc Wessex)
|Natural Resouces Wales
*The Secretary of State has approved EIUC charges for Water Companies in Thames and North West Regions from 2012/13 to 2014/15. In other regions we have not yet sought approval pending the outcome of negotiations around new funding arrangements. If new arrangements do not materialise then we will proceed to request government approval to raise EIUC charges on Water Companies in all of the other regions where further funding is required.
For information on how to pay your application charge please see the information included with the application documents. For information on how to pay all invoiced charges please see the information on the back of the invoice.