Most of the public and group water supply schemes, and a reasonable proportion of abstractions in many other sectors, have made submissions for the register of water abstractions being
developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is required by EU regulations.
The EPA has been asked to establish and manage a national register of people who abstract more than 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) of water per day.
The Department of Housing Planning and Local Government says there are about 3,000 water abstractions of 25 cubic meters or more of water on a given day, and 1,359
abstraction registrations were made with the EPA by November 30, relating to about 2,200 abstraction points.
An additional 144 people had registered for access to the abstraction web portal, but had not completed their registration.
Of the registrations to November 30, 73% (998) were abstractions for provision of drinking water.
Only two were for golf course abstractions, although more than 300 golf courses are likely to have abstractions that require registration.
An EPA spokesperson said, “There are also several sectors, such as quarrying, hydro-power, and race courses, where we have had good engagement with sectoral representatives, and have already had a significant number of registrations.
“But we are aware that representatives within the sectors are assisting their members with registration, and therefore we are expecting further registrations from these sectors in the coming weeks."
The EPA will also work closely with the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and Local Authorities with regards to identifying small commercial enterprises and any public authority building abstractions that may not yet have registered.
More registrations are also likely to be sought by farmers, with only 72 registered to November 30, which is less than 10% of the number expected.
How often do I need to update my registration?
When you are aware that information contained in the register is incorrect, you are required to update the registration.
Where there are significant changes in the abstraction volumes, you are required to update the registration. A significant change for example could be an
increase or decrease of 25 cubic meters per day or more in abstracted volume, or any change that would negate the need for the abstraction to be registered.
If the maximum daily abstraction volume decreases below 25 cubic metres per day, the abstraction should be de-registered. If an abstraction is not registered, and the maximum daily volume
increases above 25 cubic metres the abstraction must be registered.
Is the registration equivalent to a licence?
No. The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government indicated in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021 that public consultation on an appropriate control regime would take place in the second half of 2018, to help inform the nature of any such licensing regime.
What will the registration data be used for?
The EPA does not plan to publish a detailed public abstraction register, as it may contain commercially sensitive information or information that could jeopardise the security of water supplies.
However, summaries will be published to provide general information, and to satisfy Water Framework Directive and European Environment Agency (EEA) reporting requirements.
Will I get confirmation from the EPA of my registration?
Following submission of a registration in the Water Abstractions Module, a summary of the registration will be shown with a Registration Number. The summary and Registration Number will also be emailed. The registration number should be retained as proof of registration.
What if I move, or permanently cease abstracting water?
It is the registrant’s responsibility to contact the EPA to de-register if they are no longer involved with the abstraction or permanently cease
What’s the procedure for transferring ownership/responsibility for an abstraction?
The new owner/person responsible must re-register the abstraction after the previous owner has un-registered it.
What if my abstraction is only temporary?
Temporary abstractions must be registered unless the abstraction is a one-off occurrence with a duration no more than 24 hours.
For all other temporary abstractions, a point of abstraction must be identified and the maximum abstraction should be used when registering. Once a one-off temporary abstraction ceases, it should be de-registered.
What if I get someone to abstract water on my behalf?
It is the responsibility of the person who requested the water abstraction to ensure that the water abstraction is registered.
What if I am not the landowner and I rent the land with the water abstraction?
If the abstracted water is put to many uses by different people, then all are liable in relation to the abstraction and one of those people must register the abstraction. Where land is rented, either the landowner or the person renting the land should arrange to have the abstraction registered.