What we do
We are working to ensure that water companies, farmers and industry do not take too much water from the environment.
We manage the amount of water taken from the environment through a permitting system, by regulating existing licences and, where appropriate, granting new ones.
This work will ensure sustainable water levels in rivers, lakes and marshes, improving wildlife habitats and protecting endangered species. It will also ensure that water is available to supply our growing population and economy.
From 1 January 2018, most abstraction exemptions (if over 20 cubic meters per day) have been removed. This includes abstractions in the previously exempt areas. Most abstractions will now require a licence to continue legally abstracting water. For more information please visit Changes to water abstraction licensing exemptions.