Search Legislation

Water Act 2003

32. .Section 1: Licences to abstract water.

This provides that abstraction licences will be of one of three types: a “full licence”, a “transfer licence” or a “temporary licence”.

33.One of these three forms of licence is required in order for a person to abstract any quantity of water which is above the licensing threshold (see section 6) and which is not otherwise exempt.

34.A “temporary licence” is required for any abstraction from a source of supply lasting less than 28 days.

35.A “transfer licence” is available for abstraction of water for 28 days or more for transfer from one source of supply to another without intervening use – for example, from one watercourse to another for the purposes of navigation. A transfer licence is also available for transfers between two points in the same source of supply where the abstraction is related to dewatering of works such as within a quarry. But it is possible to apply for a full licence if the applicant wants full protection from derogation for his transfer abstraction (see section 16).

36.A “full licence” is required for any other abstraction for 28 days or more. All current abstraction licences are of this type, by virtue of the provisions of section 102(1), even though some relate to abstractions that would require only a “transfer licence”. There is no need for existing licences to be converted unless the holder wishes to do it.

37.Provisions in this section are devolved to the Assembly.

Back to top


Print Options


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.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources