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Water Act 2003

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Water Act 2003. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. Territorial Application: Wales

  3. Summary

  4. Overview of the Act

  5. Commentary on Sections

    1. Part 1: Abstraction and Impounding

      1. Sections 1 to 10 Restrictions on abstraction and impounding

        1. 32.

          Section 1: Licences to abstract water.

        2. 38.

          Section 2: Restrictions on impounding.

        3. 40.

          Sections 3 and 4: Existing impounding works.

        4. 42.

          Section 5: Rights of navigation, harbour and conservancy authorities.

        5. 44.

          Section 6: Rights to abstract small quantities.

        6. 47.

          Section 7: Rights to abstract for drainage purposes,

        7. 50.

          Section 8: Amendments relating to section 7.

        8. 52.

          Section 9: Power to provide for further exemptions.

        9. 54.

          Section 10: Orders under section 33 of the ,

      2. Sections 11 to 14 Applications for a licence

        1. 57.

          Section 11: Who may apply for a licence.

        2. 58.

          Section 12: Abolition of combined licences.

        3. 59.

          Section 13: Applications: types of abstraction licence.

        4. 60.

          Section 14: Publication of application for licence.

      3. Sections 15 to 18 Consideration of licence applications

        1. 62.

          Section 15: General consideration of licence applications

        2. 64.

          Section 16: Protection from derogation.

        3. 65.

          Section 17: Protected rights.

        4. 67.

          Section 18: Register of certain protected rights.

      4. Sections 19 to 20 Form, contents and effect of licences.

        1. 69.

          Section 19: Form, contents and effect of licences.

        2. 72.

          Section 20: Limited extension of abstraction licence validity.

      5. Sections 21 to 22 Modification of licences

        1. 73.

          Section 21: Modification of licences.

        2. 75.

          Section 22: Proposals for modification at instance of Agency or Secretary of State.

      6. Section 23 Transfer and appointment of licences

        1. 77.

          Section 23: Transfer and appointment of licences.

      7. Sections 24 to 27 Claims and compensation

        1. 82.

          Section 24: Claims arising out of water abstraction.

        2. 83.

          Section 25: Compensation for modification of licence on direction of Secretary of State.

        3. 85.

          Section 26: Recovery of compensation from new licence-holder.

        4. 86.

          Section 27: Withdrawal of compensation for certain revocations and variations.

      8. Sections 28 to 29 Water resources management schemes

        1. 87.

          Section 28: Water resources management schemes: other abstractors.

        2. 89.

          Section 29: Water resources management schemes: referral to Secretary of State.

      9. Section 30 Enforcement

        1. 91.

          Section 30: Enforcement notices, and related procedures and offences.

      10. Sections 31 to 33 Miscellaneous

        1. 93.

          Section 31: Bulk supplies.

        2. 95.

          Section 32: Visiting forces.

        3. 96.

          Section 33: Application of certain water resources provisions to this Act.

    2. Part 2: New Regulatory Arrangements, Etc

      1. Sections 34 to 38 and Schedules 1 to 3 Establishment, of new bodies

        1. 98.

          Section 34 and Schedule 1: Water Services Regulation Authority.

        2. 102.

          Section 35 and Schedule 2: Consumer Council for Water.

        3. 110.

          Section 36: Transfer to Authority and Council of functions, property

        4. 111.

          Section 37: Conditions relating to costs of water regulation.

        5. 115.

          Section 38: Forward work programmes and annual reports.

      2. Sections 39 to 42 Objectives of regulation of water industry

        1. 121.

          Section 39: objectives and duties under

        2. 127.

          Section 40: Guidance to the Authority on social and environmental matters.

        3. 133.

          Sections 41 and 42: Standards of performance in relation to water supply and sewerage services.

      3. Sections 43 to 47 Functions of the Council

        1. 139.

          Section 43: General functions of the Council.

        2. 154.

          Section 44: Provision of information to the Council.

        3. 161.

          Section 45: Provision of statistical information to consumers

        4. 164.

          Section 46: Consumer complaints.

        5. 165.

          Section 47: Investigations by the Council.

      4. Sections 48 to 49 Enforcement of obligations

        1. 166.

          Section 48: Financial penalties.

        2. 176.

          Section 49: Enforcement of certain provisions.

      5. Section 50 Remuneration and standards of performance

        1. 178.

          Section 50: Links between directors’ pay and standards of performance

      6. Sections 51 to 52 Miscellaneous

        1. 184.

          Section 51: Reasons for decisions.

        2. 187.

          Section 52: Co-operation between water regulators.

      7. Sections 53 to 55 The Competition Commission

        1. 188.

          Section 53: Specialist members of the Competition Commission.

        2. 189.

          Section 54: Determination references under section 12 of the .

        3. 191.

          Section 55: Conditions of appointments under the .

      8. Section 56 and Schedule 4 Licensing of other water suppliers

        1. 194.

          Section 56 and Schedule 4: Licensing of other water suppliers.

    3. Part 3: Miscellaneous

      1. Section 57 The Drinking Water Inspectorate

        1. 327.

          Section 57: The Chief Inspector of Drinking Water and the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

      2. Section 58 Water fluoridation

        1. 331.

          Section 58: Fluoridation of water supplies.

      3. Section 59 Water resale

        1. 342.

          Section 59: Charges for services provided with the help of an undertaker

      4. Sections 60 to 61 Penalties

        1. 345.

          Section 60: Abstraction and impounding offences.

        2. 347.

          Section 61: Supplying water unfit for human consumption.

      5. Section 62 Water resources management plans

        1. 349.

          Section 62: Water resources management plans.

      6. Sections 63 to 65 Drought

        1. 352.

          Section 63: Drought plans.

        2. 353.

          Section 64: Drought orders and drought permits: charges.

        3. 354.

          Section 65: Procedure at local inquiries.

      7. Sections 66 to 69 Land drainage and flood defence

        1. 356.

          Section 66: Revocation of local flood defence schemes.

        2. 358.

          Section 67: Membership of regional flood defence committees in Wales.

        3. 359.

          Section 68: Regional flood defence communities.

        4. 362.

          Section 69: Grants for drainage works and flood warning systems.

      8. Section 70 Information

        1. 364.

          Section 70: Information.

      9. Section 71 Powers of entry

        1. 366.

          Section 71: Extension of Environment Agency’s powers of entry.

      10. Section 72 Environment Agency’s general water resources duty

        1. 368.

          Section 72: Efficient use of water resources.

      11. Section 73 Border rivers

        1. 370.

          Section 73: Border rivers.

      12. Sections 74 to 80 Reservoirs

        1. 372.

          Section 74: Environment Agency to be enforcement authority under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

        2. 373.

          Section 75: Extension of enforcement authority’s reserve powers.

        3. 374.

          Section 76: Service of documents.

        4. 375.

          Section 77: Flood plans: large raised reservoirs.

        5. 376.

          Section 78-79: National security and offences.

        6. 377.

          Section 80: Crown application.

      13. Sections 81 to 83 Water conservation

        1. 379.

          Section 81: Duty to encourage water conservation.

        2. 380.

          Section 82: Water conservation: requirements on relevant undertakers.

        3. 381.

          Section 83: Water conservation by public authorities.

      14. Section 84 Fire hydrants

        1. 382.

          Section 84: Fire hydrants.

      15. Section 85: Coal mine water pollution

        1. 385.

          Section 85: Control of water from coal mines.

      16. Section 86 Contaminated land

        1. 391.

          Section 86: Contaminated land: pollution of controlled waters.

      17. Section 87 Discharge consents

        1. 394.

          Section 87: Transfer of discharge consents.

      18. Sections 88 to 89 Trade effluent consents

        1. 403.

          Sections 88 and 89: Trade effluent consents.

      19. Sections 90 to 92 Water mains,

        1. 411.

          Section 90: Water main requisitions: financial conditions.

        2. 412.

          Section 91: Water main requisitions: calculations of payments.

        3. 413.

          Section 92: Self-lay and adoption of water mains and service pipes.

      20. Sections 93 to 99 Sewers and drains

        1. 419.

          Section 93: Requisition and adoption of sewers.

        2. 420.

          Section 94: Provision of public sewers otherwise than by requisition.

        3. 422.

          Section 95: Requisition of lateral drains.

        4. 423.

          Section 96: Adoption of lateral drains.

        5. 424.

          Section 97: Requisitioning and adoption of lateral drains: supplementary.

        6. 425.

          Section 98: Schemes for the adoption of sewers, lateral drains and sewage disposal works.

        7. 426.

          Section 99: Communications with public sewers.

    4. Part 4: Supplementary

      1. Sections 100 to 105

        1. 428.

          Section 102: Specific transitional and transitory provisions.

        2. 432.

          Section 103: Powers to make further supplementary, consequential and transitional provision,

        3. 435.

          Section 104: Regulations and orders.

        4. 437.

          Section 105: Interpretation, commencement, short title, and extent.

      2. Schedule 7 Minor and consequential amendments

      3. Schedule 8 Minor and consequential amendments: licensing of water suppliers

  6. Public Sector Financial Cost and Public Sector Manpower Effects

  7. Summary of Regulatory Impact Assessment

  8. Commencement

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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