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Water Resources Act 1963

1963 CHAPTER 38

An Act to provide for the establishment of river authorities and a Water Resources Board, to confer on them, and on the Minister of Housing and Local Government, new functions in relation to water resources in England and Wales, and to provide for the transfer to river authorities of functions previously exercisable by river boards and other bodies; to make further provision for controlling the abstraction and impounding of water, for imposing charges in respect of licences to abstract or impound water, and for securing the protection and proper use of inland waters and water in underground strata; to enable corresponding provision to be made in relation to the Thames and Lee catchment areas and certain other areas in or adjacent to London; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[31st July 1963]

Extent Information

E1For the extent of this Act see s. 137(2)(3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Act extended by S.I. 1972/971, Sch. 1 Pt. A

C2The base date version of this Act is as revised to 1.12.1991 and takes into account the effects (if any) on it of consolidating legislation which came into force at that date.

C3Act modified by S.I. 1974/607, art. 13(1)(2)

C8Act saved (26.6.1991) by S.I. 1991/1619, art. 12

Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at Royal Assent.

Part IE+W Functions of Ministers in relation to Water Resources

1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1E+W

2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2E+W

Part IIE+W River Authorities and Water Resources Board

River authoritiesE+W

3

(1)—(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3

(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4

(6), (7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3

Textual Amendments

F3Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

4—15.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F5E+W

Textual Amendments

F5Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

16

(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F6

(2)(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F7

Textual Amendments

F6Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F8E+W

18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F9E+W

Textual Amendments

F9Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

19. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F10E+W

20. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11E+W

21

(1), (2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F12

(3),(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F13

Textual Amendments

F12Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

22—32.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F14E+W

33—35.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F15E+W

36—55.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16E+W

56. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F17E+W

Part VE+W Charges For Licences To Abstract Or Impound Water

57—59.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F18E+W

Textual Amendments

F18Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

60. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F19E+W

61, 62.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F20E+W

Textual Amendments

F20Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

63, 64. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F21E+W

Part VIE+W Powers of River Authorities in Relation to Land and Works

65—70.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F22E+W

71

(1),(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F23

(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F24

(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F23

(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F25

(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F23

Part VIIE+W Additional Functions of River Authorities

72. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F26E+W

73. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F27E+W

74. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F28E+W

75. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F29E+W

76. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F30E+W

77. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F31E+W

78. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F32E+W

79 Byelaws for protection of water resources.E+W

[F33(1)Section 18 of the M1Water Act 1945 (which empowers statutory water undertakers to make byelaws for the purpose of protecting water against pollution) shall have effect for enabling byelaws to be made under that section by [F34water authorities].]

[F33(2)For the purposes of the application of that section by virtue of the preceding subsection—

(a)any reference to statutory water undertakers shall be construed as a reference to a [F35water authority], and any reference to the undertakers shall be construed as a reference to the [F35water authority] by whom the byelaws are made;

(b)the reference in subsection (1) of that section to water which belongs to statutory water undertakers or which they are for the time being authorised to take shall be construed as a reference to any such water as is mentioned in section 68(1) of this Act; and

(c)in subsection (5) the words “and subsection (2) of the next but one following section of this Act” shall be omitted.]

(3)—(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F36

[F33(7)No byelaw made by virtue of section 18 of the M2Water Act 1945 as applied by subsection (1) of this section shall conflict or interfere with the operation of any byelaw made by a navigation authority, harbour authority or conservancy authority.]

(8),(9). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F37

80. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F38E+W

Textual Amendments

F38Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

81, 82.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F39E+W

Part VIIIE+W Financial Provisions

83—87.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F40E+W

Textual Amendments

F40Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

88. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F41E+W

89, 90.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F42E+W

Textual Amendments

F42Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

91. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F43E+W

92. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F44E+W

Textual Amendments

F44Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

93

(1)(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F45

(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F46

(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F45

Textual Amendments

F45Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

Part IXE+W

94—100.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F47E+W

Textual Amendments

F47Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

Part XE+W+S Miscellaneous and Supplementary Provisions

101—104.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F48E+W

Textual Amendments

F48Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

105. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F49E+W

106. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F50E+W

107, 108.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F51E+W

109. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F52E+W

110. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F53E+W

Textual Amendments

F53Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

111—113.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F54E+W

114—118.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F55E+W

119. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F56E+W

Textual Amendments

F56Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

120. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F57E+W

121. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F58E+W

Textual Amendments

F58Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

122. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F59E+W

Textual Amendments

123. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F60E+W

124, 125.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F61E+W

Textual Amendments

F61Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

126

(1)(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F62

[F63(3)Without prejudice to the last preceding subsection, the provisions of this Act relating to the new functions of [F64water authorities] shall not apply to so much of any inland waters as—

(a)is part of the River Tweed, or

(b)is part of the River Esk or of the river Sark or of any tributary stream of the River Esk or River Sark at a point where either of the banks of either of those rivers or of any such tributary stream is in Scotland.

(4)In this section “the River Tweed” means the “the river” as defined by the Tweed Fisheries Amendment Act 1859 and any byelaw amending that defination.]

127. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F65E+W

Textual Amendments

F65Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

128

(1)(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F66

(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F67

129. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F68E+W

Textual Amendments

F68Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

130. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F69E+W

131, 132.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F70E+W

133 Repeal, amendment and adaptation of local enactments.E+W

(1)If it appears to the Minister that any local enactment passed or made before the second appointed day is inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act, or with anything done in the performance of any functions under this Act, or requires to be amended or adapted, having regard to any of the provisions of this Act or to anything done in the performance of any of those functions, he may by order repeal, amend or adapt that enactment to such extent, or in such manner, as he considers appropriate.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F71

(3)Any order under this section may include such transitional, incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as the Minister or Ministers may consider necessary or expedient.

(4)The provisions of this section shall have effect without prejudice to the exercise of any other power to repeal, amend or adapt local enactments which is conferred by any other enactment, including any enactment contained in this Act.

134 Regulations and orders.E+W

(1),(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F72

(3)Any power conferred by this Act to make an order shall include power to vary or revoke the order by a subsequent order.

(4)Any power to make orders under this Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument:

. . . F73

(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F74

(6)Any statutory instrument containing—

(a), (b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F75

(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F72

(d)an order under the last preceding section,

shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament:

. . . F76

135 Interpretation.E+W

(1)In this Act, except in so far as the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the meanings hereby assigned to them respectively, that is to say:—

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F77

  • local enactment” means a local or private Act, a public general Act relating to London, an order or scheme made under an Act or confirmed by Parliament or brought into operation in accordance with special parliamentary procedure, or an enactment in a public general Act amending a local or private Act or any such order or scheme;

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F77

  • performance”, in relation to functions, includes the exercise of powers as well as the performance of duties, and “perform” shall be construed accordingly;

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F77

  • repeal”, in relation to a local enactment not contained in an Act, means revoke;

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F77

(2),(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F78

(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F79

(5)—(8). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F78

(9)Except in so far as the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Act to an enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended or extended by or under any other enactment, including this Act.

136 Amendments and repeals.E+W

(1)—(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F80

(4)The repeal of the enactments specified in Part II of Schedule 14 to this Act—

(a)shall not affect the operation of any statutory provision made or issued by virtue of any of those enactments before the end of the initial period, whether before or after the passing of this Act, and

(b)shall not prevent the making or issuing of any such statutory provision in pursuance of an application made to a Minister before the end of that period, whether before or after the passing of this Act, or otherwise affect any proceedings in consequence of such an application.

(5), (6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F80

Textual Amendments

F80Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

137 Short title and extent.E+W

(1)This Act may be cited as the Water Resources Act 1963.

(2)This Act, except—

(a)sections . . . F81and 126 thereof . . . F82, and

(b)any provision of this Act in so far as it affects the operation of the enactments mentioned in section 126 (1) of this Act in accordance with that subsection or in so far as it affects the operation of the M3Border Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act 1951,

shall not extend to Scotland.

(3)This Act . . . F82 shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

Textual Amendments

Marginal Citations

SCHEDULES

F83F83SCHEDULES 1—6E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F83Ss. 3(1)–(4)(6)(7), 4–15, 16(1), 18, 21(1)(2), 57–59, 61, 62, 80, 83–87, 89, 90, 92, 93(1)(2)(4), 94–104, 110, 119, 121, 124, 125, 127, 129, 136(1)–(3)(5)(6), Schs. 1–6, repealed by Water Act 1973 (c. 37), Sch. 9

SCHEDULE 7E+W . . . F84

SCHEDULES 8, 9E+W . . . F85

SCHEDULE 10E+W . . . F86

F87F87SCHEDULES 11—14E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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