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Water Bill [HL]

Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



 6     Existing impounding works: works notices

     (1)    Without prejudice to the Environment Agency’s power under subsection (2) of

section 5, where it appears to the Agency to be necessary for—

           (a)           the protection of the environment, or

           (b)           the performance of its functions in connection with the management of


water resources,

            the Agency may serve a works notice on any relevant person with respect to

any existing unlicensed impounding works of the kind mentioned in

subsection (2) of that section.

     (2)    For the purposes of subsection (1), a works notice is a notice requiring the


person on whom it is served to carry out such works or operations in relation

to the impounding works as—

           (a)           appear to the Environment Agency to be required for the purposes

mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b), and

           (b)           are specified in the notice.


     (3)    The following provisions of the WRA apply in relation to works notices under

this section as they apply in relation to notices referred to in those provisions—

           (a)           subsections (5) to (9) of section 25A (as inserted by section 32 of this

Act), and

           (b)           sections 161B and 161C,


            including any power to make regulations or give directions, but references in

those provisions to the Secretary of State shall be treated as references to the

appropriate authority.

     (4)    If a person on whom the Agency serves a notice under this section fails to

comply with any of its requirements, he shall be guilty of an offence.


     (5)    A person who commits an offence under subsection (4) shall be liable—

           (a)           on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £20,000;

           (b)           on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

     (6)    If a person on whom a works notice has been served under this section fails to

comply with any of its requirements, the Agency may do what that person was


required to do and may recover from him any costs or expenses reasonably

incurred by the Agency in doing it.

     (7)    If the Agency is of the opinion that proceedings for an offence under subsection

(4) would afford an ineffectual remedy against a person who has failed to

comply with the requirements of a works notice, the Agency may take


proceedings in the High Court for the purpose of securing compliance with the


     (8)    In this section, “the appropriate authority”, “existing unlicensed impounding

works” and “relevant person” have the meanings given in section 5.

 7     Rights of navigation, harbour and conservancy authorities


For section 26 of the WRA (rights of navigation, harbour and conservancy

authorities) there is substituted—

       “26            Rights of navigation, harbour and conservancy authorities

           (1)           Subject to subsection (2) below, the restriction on abstraction shall not

apply to any transfer, without intervening use, of water from inland




Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



waters described in the first column of the Table below to inland waters

described in the corresponding entry in the second column, if the

transfer is in the course of, or results from, any operations carried out

by a navigation authority, harbour authority or conservancy authority

in the carrying out of their functions as such an authority.



Transfer from

Transfer to


A water system of the

The same water system.




A water system of the

Inland waters not forming part



of that water system.




A supply reservoir of the

A water system of the



authority’s with which that


reservoir is connected.


           (2)           Subsection (1) above shall not apply to a transfer of water from a water

system to any inland waters outside that water system in order to—


                  (a)                 empty a dry dock; or

                  (b)                 introduce into those inland waters all or part of a quantity of

water to be abstracted from any connected inland waters in

pursuance of a licence to do so granted under this Chapter.

           (3)           The restriction on impounding works shall not apply to—


                  (a)                 the construction or alteration of impounding works; or

                  (b)                 the obstruction or impeding of inland waters by means of

impounding works,

                         in the course of the performance by a navigation authority, harbour

authority or conservancy authority of their functions as such an


authority, unless the construction, alteration, obstruction or impeding

affects any inland waters in relation to which the authority does not

have functions.

           (4)           In this section, references to—

                  (a)                 an authority’s water system are to a water system in relation to


which the authority has functions;

                  (b)                 an authority’s supply reservoir are to a reservoir—

                        (i)                        belonging to a navigation authority;

                        (ii)                       used for the purposes of supplying that navigation

authority’s water system; and


                        (iii)                      which does not discharge to any inland waters other

than that water system.

           (5)           For the purposes of this section, “water system” means the canals, the

harbours, or the canals and harbours constituting the system in



                  (a)                 together with the locks, docks, balancing reservoirs, weirs and

other works associated with the system (other than any supply

reservoir as described in subsection (4)(b) above); but

                  (b)                 excluding any part of the system which consists of a navigable

river or part of one.”




Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



 8     Rights to abstract small quantities

     (1)    For section 27 of the WRA (rights to abstract small quantities) there is


       “27            Rights to abstract small quantities

           (1)           The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to any abstraction of a


quantity of water not exceeding twenty cubic metres in any period of

twenty-four hours, if the abstraction does not form part of a continuous

operation, or of a series of operations, by which a quantity of water

which, in aggregate, is more than twenty cubic metres is abstracted

during the period.


           (2)           In the case of any abstraction of water from underground strata which

falls within subsection (1) above, the restriction imposed by section

24(2) above shall not apply—

                  (a)                 to the construction or extension of any well, borehole or other

work; or


                  (b)                 to the installation or modification of machinery or other


                         if the well, borehole or other work is constructed or extended, or the

machinery or apparatus is installed or modified, for the purpose of

abstracting the water.


           (3)           Where a person is authorised by a licence under this Chapter to carry

on a particular abstraction operation (or series of operations), this

section does not permit him to carry it on beyond the authorisation

conferred by the licence.

       27A            Variation of small quantity threshold


           (1)           The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument

provide that section 27(1) above is to have effect in relation to—

                  (a)                 a geographical area; or

                  (b)                 a class of inland waters; or

                  (c)                 a class of underground strata; or


                  (d)                 a class of inland waters or of underground strata within a

geographical area,

                                       (in each case as specified in the order) as if for “twenty cubic metres”

there were substituted another quantity specified in the order.

           (2)           The Secretary of State shall not make such an order except upon the


application of the Agency; but he may direct the Agency to make such

an application.

           (3)           Such an order may—

                  (a)                 make different provision in relation to the different paragraphs

in subsection (1) above; and


                  (b)                 make different provision for different areas, waters or

underground strata.

           (4)           Schedule 6 to this Act shall have effect with respect to applications for

orders under subsection (1) above and with respect to the making of

such orders.




Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



           (5)           An order under subsection (1) above which specifies a greater quantity

than the one which previously had effect in relation to the area, waters

or strata in question may make provision for a licence to abstract water

granted under this Chapter—

                  (a)                 which is for the time being in force; but


                  (b)                 which by virtue of the order has become wholly or partly


                         to cease to have effect, or to cease to have effect to the extent specified

in the order.

           (6)                         An order under subsection (1) above may include provision for or in


relation to the payment by the Agency of compensation, in cases

specified in the order, to a person who—

                  (a)                 immediately before the making of an order under subsection (1)

above, had been in a position to carry out an abstraction to

which, by virtue of section 27(1) above, the restriction on


abstraction did not apply;

                  (b)                 following the making of that order, requires a licence under this

Chapter in order to carry out that abstraction; and

                  (c)                 has suffered loss or damage as a result of his having been—

                        (i)                        refused such a licence in respect of that abstraction; or


                        (ii)                       granted such a licence, but in respect of an abstraction of

more limited extent than the one he had been in a

position to carry out.

           (7)           Paragraphs (e) and (f) of section 219(2) below apply in relation to orders

under subsection (1) above as they apply to regulations made under


this Act.

           (8)           A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (1) above

shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either

House of Parliament.”

     (2)    Section 28 of the WRA shall cease to have effect.


 9     Rights to abstract for drainage purposes, etc

     (1)    Section 29 of the WRA (rights to abstract for drainage purposes etc) is amended

as follows.

     (2)    After subsection (1) there is inserted—

           “(1A)              The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to any abstraction of


water from inland waters within the district of an internal drainage

board if—

                  (a)                 the abstraction is carried out by or on behalf of that board in

connection with its functions;

                  (b)                 the water abstracted is transferred to another area of inland


waters within the board’s district without intervening use; and

                  (c)                 the sole or main purpose of the transfer is to augment that other

area of inland waters.”

     (3)    For subsection (2) there is substituted—

           “(2)              The restriction on abstraction shall not apply to any abstraction of


water from a source of supply in so far as the abstraction (where it does



Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



not fall within subsection (1) or (1A) above) is an emergency abstraction

and the person abstracting the water complies with subsection (2B)


           (2A)              An abstraction of water is an emergency abstraction if, in the opinion of

the abstractor, an emergency has arisen which makes the abstraction


necessary to prevent immediate danger of interference with any

mining, quarrying, engineering, building or other operations (whether

underground or on the surface) or, in relation to such operations, to

prevent an immediate risk—

                  (a)                 to a human being of death, personal injury or harm to health;


                  (b)                 of serious damage to works resulting from any such operations;


                  (c)                 of serious damage to the environment.

           (2B)              In the case of any emergency abstraction, the person abstracting the

water shall before the end of the period of five days beginning with the


date on which the abstraction started give notice to the Agency of—

                  (a)                 the abstraction and of the source of supply in question; and

                  (b)                 the reasons for the abstractor’s opinion that an emergency had

arisen and that the abstraction was necessary.

           (2C)              The Agency may give notice to the person referred to in subsection (2B)


above that in the Agency’s opinion an emergency had not arisen, or

that the abstraction is not, or is no longer, necessary for any of the

reasons set out in subsection (2A) above; and, if the Agency does so, the

restriction on abstraction shall apply to the abstraction from the time

when the notice is served (and, if applicable, the restriction imposed by


section 24(2) above shall apply accordingly).”

     (4)    Subsection (3) is omitted.

     (5)    For subsection (5) there is substituted—

           “(5)              In this section, “land drainage”—

                  (a)                 includes the protection of land against erosion or encroachment


by water, whether from inland waters or from the sea; but

                  (b)                 does not include warping, irrigation (including spray

irrigation), or transferring water from one source of supply to

another (whether with or without intervening use) solely or

mainly in order to augment the latter.


           (6)              In deciding to extend abstraction licensing to irrigation by virtue of

subsection (5) above, the Agency shall have regard to the length of time

such abstraction has been practised and the purposes to which it has

been put.”

 10    Amendments relating to section 9


     (1)    Subsections (2) to (6) make amendments to the WRA consequential on the

amendments made by section 9.

     (2)    In section 21 (minimum acceptable flows)—

           (a)           in subsection (9), the words from “and in that subsection” to the end are





Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



           (b)           after subsection (9) there is added—

                  “(10)                    In subsection (5) above, the reference to land drainage


                        (a)                        defence against water (including sea water), irrigation

(other than spray irrigation), warping and the carrying


on, for any purpose, of any other practice which

involves management of the level of water in a

watercourse; and

                        (b)                        the provision of flood warning systems.”

     (3)    Sections 30 (notices with respect to borings not requiring licences) and 31


(appeals against notices under section 30) shall cease to have effect.

     (4)    In section 70 (civil liability under Chapter 2), for “24, 25 and 30” there is

substituted “24 and 25”.

     (5)    In section 199 (notice of mining operations which may affect water



           (a)           for subsections (2) and (3) there is substituted—

                  “(2)                    Where a notice under subsection (1) above is given to the

Agency by any person, the Agency may (subject to section 199A

below) by notice to that person require him, in connection with

the construction, extension or use of the work to which that


person’s notice relates, to take such reasonable measures for

conserving water as are specified in the notice.

                  (2A)                    The measures that may be specified in a notice under subsection

(2) above shall be measures which, in the opinion of the Agency,

will not interfere with the winning of minerals.


                  (3)                    Section 70 above shall apply to the restrictions imposed by this

section as it applies to the restrictions imposed by sections 24

and 25 above.”,

           (b)           in subsection (4), for “conservation notice given by virtue of” there is

substituted “notice under”.


     (6)    After section 199 there is inserted—

       “199A             Appeals against conservation notices under section 199

           (1)           The person on whom a notice under section 199(2) above (“a

conservation notice”) is served may, by notice to the Secretary of State,

appeal to him against the conservation notice on either or both of the


following grounds, that is to say—

                  (a)                 that the measures required by the conservation notice are not


                  (b)                 that those measures would interfere with the winning of



           (2)           Any notice of appeal against a conservation notice shall be served

within such period (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date

of service of the conservation notice) and in such manner as may be


           (3)           Before determining an appeal against a conservation notice, the


Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit—



Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



                  (a)                 cause a local inquiry to be held; or

                  (b)                 afford to the appellant and the Agency an opportunity of

appearing before, and being heard by, a person appointed by

the Secretary of State for the purpose;

                         and the Secretary of State shall act as mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b)


above if a request is made by the appellant or the Agency to be heard

with respect to an appeal.

           (4)           On an appeal against a conservation notice the Secretary of State may

confirm, quash or vary the notice as he may consider appropriate.

           (5)           The decision of the Secretary of State on any appeal against a


conservation notice shall be final.

           (6)           The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision as to the

manner in which appeals against conservation notices are to be dealt

with, including provision requiring the giving of notices of, and

information relating to, the making of such appeals or decisions on any


such appeals.

           (7)           Section 69 above applies to a decision of the Secretary of State on any

appeal to him under this section as it applies to a decision of his on an

appeal to him under Chapter 2 of Part 2, taking the reference in

subsection (2)(b) of that section to that Chapter as a reference to this



           (8)           This section is subject to section 114 of the 1995 Act (delegation or

reference of appeals).”

     (7)    In section 114 of the Environment Act 1995 (c. 25) (power of Secretary of State

to delegate or refer in connection with appeals), in subsection (2)(a)(v), for “or


191B(5)” there is substituted “191B(5) or 199A”.

 11    Power to provide for further exemptions

After section 33 of the WRA there is inserted—

       “33A            Power to provide for further exemptions

           (1)           The Secretary of State may make regulations providing for further cases


in which—

                  (a)                 the restriction on abstraction (and, in the case of abstractions

from underground strata, the other restrictions imposed by

section 24 above); or

                  (b)                 the restriction on impounding works,


                         shall not apply; and in this section such a case is referred to as an


           (2)           The regulations may, in particular, make provision, in relation to an


                  (a)                 for the exemption to apply only for a prescribed period;


                  (b)                 for the exemption not to apply unless prescribed conditions are

satisfied, or continue to be satisfied;

                  (c)                 for the Agency to be notified, or its consent obtained—

                        (i)                        before any particular abstraction operation or series of

such operations begins; or




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