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The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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Recovery of costs for water service and provision of incentives for efficient water use

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23.—(1) The Department and the Department for Infrastructure must, in accordance with Article 9 of the Directive, ensure—

(a)that water pricing policies provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently; and

(b)an adequate contribution of the different water uses, disaggregated into at least industry, households and agriculture, to the recovery of the costs of water services, based on the economic analysis required in accordance with regulation 7.

(2) In complying with paragraph (1), the Department and the Department for Infrastructure—

(a)must take account of environmental and resource costs and the polluter pays principle;

(b)may have regard to the social, environmental and economic effects of the cost recovery and the geographical and climatic conditions of the region or the regions affected.

(3) The Department must provide the Department for Infrastructure with any information relating to the environment which may reasonably be required to carry out its functions in accordance with this regulation.

(4) The Department for Infrastructure may, in accordance with established practices, disapply paragraph (1) in relation to a particular water-use activity, provided this does not otherwise compromise the purposes and achievement of the objectives of the Directive.

(5) The Department for Infrastructure must—

(a)on a request being made by the Department, provide the Department with information on the steps it proposes to take in pursuance of its duties under paragraph (1); and

(b)for the purposes of Article 9(4) of the Directive, inform the Department of any decision taken in accordance with that Article and provide the Department with a statement of the reasons for that decision.

(6) If the Department for Infrastructure decides in accordance with paragraph (4) not to fully apply the requirements of paragraph (1) in relation to a particular water use activity, the reasons for not doing so must be reported in the river basin management plan (or the next update of it).

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