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Water Resources Act 1991

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27 Rights to abstract small quantities.E+W

(1)The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to any abstraction of a quantity of water not exceeding five cubic metres if it does not form part of a continuous operation, or of a series of operations, by which a quantity of water which, in aggregate, is more than five cubic metres is abstracted.

(2)The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to any abstraction of a quantity of water not exceeding twenty cubic metres if the abstraction—

(a)does not form part of a continuous operation, or of a series of operations, by which a quantity of water which, in aggregate, is more than twenty cubic metres is abstracted; and

(b)is with the consent of the [F1Agency].

(3)The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to so much of any abstraction from any inland waters by or on behalf of an occupier of contiguous land as falls within subsection (4) below, unless the abstraction is such that the quantity of water abstracted from the inland waters by or on behalf of the occupier by virtue of this subsection exceeds twenty cubic metres, in aggregate, in any period of twenty-four hours.

(4)Subject to section 28 below, an abstraction of water falls within this subsection in so far as the water—

(a)is abstracted for use on a holding consisting of the contiguous land with or without other land held with that land; and

(b)is abstracted for use on that holding for either or both of the following purposes, that is to say—

(i)the domestic purposes of the occupier’s household;

(ii)agricultural purposes other than spray irrigation.

(5)The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to the abstraction of water from underground strata, in so far as the water is abstracted by or on behalf of an individual as a supply of water for the domestic purposes of his household, unless the abstraction is such that the quantity of water abstracted from the strata by or on behalf of that individual by virtue of this subsection exceeds twenty cubic metres, in aggregate, in any period of twenty-four hours.

(6)For the purposes of this Chapter a person who is in a position to abstract water in such circumstances that, by virtue of subsection (3) or (5) above, the restriction on abstraction does not apply shall be taken to have a right to abstract water to the extent specified in that subsection.

(7)In the case of any abstraction of water from underground strata which falls within subsection (5) above, the restriction imposed by section 24(2) above shall not apply—

(a)to the construction or extension of any well, borehole or other work; or

(b)to the installation or modification of machinery or other apparatus,

if the well, borehole or other work is constructed or extended, or the machinery or apparatus is installed or modified, for the purpose of abstracting the water.

(8)In this section “contiguous land”, in relation to the abstraction of any water from inland waters, means land contiguous to those waters at the place where the abstraction is effected.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Word in s. 27(2) substituted (subject to other provisions of the amending Act) (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120, Sch. 22 para. 128 (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1996/186, art. 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 27(4) modified (18.5.1992) by S.I. 1992/1096, arts. 3, 4, Sch.

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