The Government’s approach to the management of sustainable water resources is the “twin track” approach involving the consideration of demand management alongside sustainable resource development. Each water company’s Water Resources Management Plan will identify the need for any additional abstraction for the public water supply in line with this approach. These plans will also identify the scope for additional demand management activity, to obviate or minimise the need for new abstraction.
Where additional abstraction is identified, then any applications for new abstraction licences will be made to the Environment Agency. The licensing system aims to achieve a balance between the requirements of abstractors and adequate protection of the environment against the impacts of abstraction.