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Water Extraction

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps can be taken by the Environment Agency in an emergency situation to speed up the process of granting a licence to extract water from a river. [115678]

The Water Resources Act 1991 provides that the requirements for abstraction licensing do not apply under certain emergency situations, including the abstraction of water for fire-fighting, and for the purpose of preventing the flooding of land and property.All other qualifying abstractions are required to follow the normal process. The speed at which the application will be dealt will depend upon a variety of circumstances, such as the complexity of the case and the need to investigate.