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EPA Launches Water Abstraction Register

The EPA has launched a register of water abstractions in accordance with the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 261 of 2018). 

Development of a water abstraction register is a requirement of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). Responsible management of water resources involves ensuring that river flows, lake and groundwater levels can sustain aquatic environments, while also allowing use of water for drinking water supply and other agricultural, commercial, industrial and recreational purposes. To assess if our water resources are being managed sustainably, it is important to have information about abstractions from rivers, lakes and groundwater.

This water abstraction register aims to capture this information and the data will be used together with information on discharges, flow and water level data, and water status to identify if there are any rivers, lakes or groundwater bodies that have unsustainable abstractions that require active management.

The requirement to register relates only to abstractions with a daily maximum volume of 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) or more. Existing abstractions greater than this volume must be registered through the External linkEPA EDEN portal within four months of the commencement of the regulations, i.e. by 16th November 2018.

Thereafter, for new abstractions, there is a requirement to register within one month of the commencement of the abstraction. There is no requirement to register abstractions with a daily maximum volume of less than 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres). It will not be possible to complete a registration if the daily maximum volume is less than 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres). Small private supplies, e.g. using domestic wells (which typically abstract between 0.5 - 1.0 cubic meter of water per day) do not require registration.

In order to register, information on the owner or manager of the abstraction and the registrant (if different) is required. Basic information on the abstraction point(s), which can also be determined using an interactive map; maximum daily and annual abstraction volume; abstraction type and purpose or use are also requested. Where abstraction volumes are not directly measured the Quick Abstraction Volume Estimator provided on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website can be used to estimate an abstraction volume (registration support documents).

Further information can be found on the EPA website here.

January 2019