Charges for abstraction and impoundment licence applications

What fees will I have to pay?

There are 3 types of charges you might need to pay for abstraction and impoundment applications and licences:

  • application fees
  • advertising fees
  • annual fees

We won’t be able to accept your application unless you have paid the correct application fee.

How much is the application fee?

When you submit your application, you will need to pay an application fee. The application fee required depends on what you are applying for, as detailed below.

  • a full abstraction licence application is £6,517 (to abstract water over a period of 28 days or more)
  • a transfer licence application is £6,517 (to take water from one source of supply to another source of supply without an intervening use, over a period of 28 days or more)
  • a temporary abstraction licence application is £6,517 (a one-off abstraction of water over a period of less than 28 days)
  • an impoundment licence application is £6,517
  • an application to remove an impoundment is £4,955
  • a groundwater investigation consent is £1,961
  • a hydropower scheme application is £6,517

For applications where a Habitats Regulations Assessment is needed, there will be an additional charge of £945.

Charges for changing (varying) a permit

  • A simple change to an abstraction licence is £1,398
  • A technical change to an abstraction licence is £4,955
  • A simple change to an impoundment licence is £1,398
  • A technical change to an impoundment licence is £4,955
  • A simple change to a hydropower licence is £1,398
  • A technical change to a hydropower licence is £4,955
  • Apportionments are £1,398
  • Same term renewals are £1,398
  • Different term renewals are £1,398 if simple, £4,955 if full

You can find details of what constitutes simple or full changes and application forms to make changes on our page 'Apply to renew or change an existing abstraction or impoundment licence'.

Annual Charges

There are no annual charges for an impoundment licence, temporary licence or transfer licence.

Annual charges may apply for a full abstraction licence. The amount you pay will depend on:

  • what you use the water for
  • the source you take it from
  • the season in which you take it

A number of factors are used to calculate what the annual charge will be.

Further details are available on our charging page and details of the factors and calculations can be found in our Abstraction Charges Scheme.

Our charging scheme is updated annually.

Spray irrigation abstraction

If your licence is to abstract water for spray irrigation, you may be able to apply for a two part tariff agreement once your licence has been issued.

Schedule 2 of our Abstraction Charges Scheme contains further information on the conditions you need to meet and how the charge is calculated.

If you want to apply for a two-part tariff you need to complete and submit the Two-Part Tariff application form.

Environmentally Beneficial Activity

An environmentally beneficial activity is a non-commercial activity undertaken entirely for environmental benefit. This could include abstractions or impoundments specifically for nature conservation, water meadows or weir removal.

Applications for abstractions or impoundments for environmentally beneficial activities are charged at a reduced rate.

  • Applications for new water abstraction licences cost £140
  • Applications for simple or technical variations to water abstraction licences cost £140
  • Applications for renewals of an abstraction licence cost £140
  • Applications for a new impoundment, transfer or temporary licence cost £1,545
  • Applications for simple variations to an impoundment or to transfer a licence will be £1,398
  • Applications for a technical variation to an impoundment or to transfer a licence will be £1,545
  • Applications for a groundwater investigation consent are free of charge
  • A Habitats Regulations Assessment is free of charge
  • Multi-activity discounts also apply (see below) 

Multi-Activity Discounts

Discounts will apply where more than one application (full abstraction, transfer or impoundment, new or variation) is being made at the same time by the same applicant for the same site and purpose.

We will charge the full application charge for the highest charge, and then apply:

  • 90% discount for each additional application that is part of the same site and purpose and from the same source of supply
  • 50% discount for each additional application that is part of the same site and purpose and from a different source of supply.

Applications with insufficient detail to progress

When we need to return an application that has insufficient information, we will retain 10% of the application charge to cover our work. Applications are only returned after the applicant has been given an opportunity to supply the missing information. 

We will retain 10% of the cost for each application type.

Withdrawn applications

If an application is withdrawn by the applicant, we will retain 10% of the application charge

if an application is withdrawn by the applicant after reaching the validation stage, we will retain the entire application charge. 

How to pay the application fee

The fee must be paid when you submit your application form and supporting documents.

We can accept card payments by Visa, MasterCard or Maestro cards only.

If you choose to pay by electronic transfer (BACS), you will need to use the following information to make your payment. You must use the same reference you generated at the start of the application form as your BACS payment reference.

Company name: Natural Resources Wales

Company address: Income Department, PO BOX 663, Cardiff, CF24 0TP
Bank: RBS
Address: National Westminster Bank Plc, 2 ½ Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4BA
Sort code: 60-70-80
Account number: 10014438

Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to Natural Resources Wales and crossed ‘a/c payee only.’ On the back of your cheque you should make a note of your proposal name and application reference number.

Making payments from outside the UK

Payment must be received in sterling.

IBAN number is GB70 NWBK6070 8010 014438


If you do not quote your payment reference number, there may be a delay in processing your payment and application.

How much is the advertising fee?

Your application for a new licence or variation to an existing licence may need to be advertised.

We decide if the proposal needs to be advertised based on the location of your site and the potential risk to the environment or other water users.

We arrange to publish the notice in a local newspaper and on our website.

If advertising is needed you will need to pay us a £103 administration fee and the full cost of the bilingual advert.

Advertising costs vary between newspapers but are usually between £500 and £1,500.

We will contact you to confirm whether advertising is needed and provide details of the costs you will need to pay.

Once the advert has been placed, you will be invoiced for the costs. The invoice will explain how to pay these costs.

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