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Water Act 2003

44. .Section 6: Rights to abstract small quantities.

This section sets a quantity of 20 cubic metres in any period of 24 hours as the normal threshold above which an abstraction licence is required, irrespective of the source of supply or the purpose of the abstraction (unless it is otherwise exempt). This replaces the present, more complex exemptions framework for small abstractions, under which more than 20,000 abstractions of less than that quantity require licences. The section also provides that where a licence exists, the small quantity exemption does not apply in addition to the licensed quantity for abstractions for the same purpose, but it can be used in addition to a licensed abstraction for a different purpose.

45.The Agency may apply (or can be directed to apply) to the Secretary of State for an Order setting a different threshold, which may be greater or less than the normal figure in specified areas, inland waters or underground strata. If the threshold is reduced and a previously exempt abstractor is unable to obtain a licence to abstract the volume he had previously abstracted, then compensation may become payable for loss or damage caused to that abstractor.

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

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