Government launches consultation on water abstraction reform

The Government is aiming to "modernise" the way water is abstracted from rivers and groundwater following the launch of a new consultation on license reforms.

Reforms announced by the Government will aim to introduce a more efficient and resilient water abstraction system that “protects the environment in the long-term”.

Proposals include linking the amount of abstraction allowed more closely with how much water is available; and making trading water much quicker and easier.

It plans on giving licence holders from industry and farming a greater incentive to use their water responsibly.

Defra Environment Minister Dan Rogerson said: “The old abstraction system is no longer flexible enough to deal with the challenges of climate change and a growing population.

“That is why it is crucial we introduce these new reforms to safeguard our environment in the future and allow the economy to grow,” he said.

Rogers has called on farmers, businesses, and water companies, to get involved in the consultation by providing their views on the proposals.

water abstraction is currently controlled by a system of licences set up in the 1960s. At the time water supplies were not considered to be as limited as they are today.

The consultation runs from 17 Dec 2013 to 28 Mar 2014.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie