(5) 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
(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.
(6) 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
(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
(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
(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
(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) 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
(7) 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.
7 Rights to abstract for drainage purposes, etc
(1) Section 29 of the WRA (rights to abstract for drainage purposes etc) is amended
(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
(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
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 immediate danger—
(a) to human life or 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 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) In subsection (4), for “subsection (1)” there is substituted “subsection (1), (1A)”.
(6) 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.”
8 Amendments relating to section 7
(1) Subsections (2) to (5) make amendments to the WRA consequential on the
amendments made by section 7.
(2) Sections 30 (notices with respect to borings not requiring licences) and 31
(appeals against notices under section 30) shall cease to have effect.
(3) In section 70 (civil liability under Chapter 2), for “24, 25 and 30” there is
substituted “24 and 25”.
(4) 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”.
(5) After section 199 (notice of mining operations which may affect water
conservation) 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—
(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
(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
9 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
(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
(ii) in connection with such an operation or series of
operations relating to the abstraction of water in
underground strata, before any other thing which is
mentioned in section 24(2) above is done; or
(iii) before any impounding works are constructed or
in reliance on the exemption.
(3) The regulations may provide for an exemption to apply generally or to
(a) a prescribed geographical area;
(b) a prescribed source of supply (in the case of an exemption from
the restriction on abstraction or the other restrictions imposed
by section 24 above); or
(c) prescribed inland waters (in the case of an exemption from the
restriction on impounding works).
(4) Subject to subsection (5) below, if regulations under this section
provide for an exemption falling within subsection (1)(a) above, the
(a) if appropriate, make provision for the exemption not to permit
a person who is authorised by a licence under this Chapter to
carry on an abstraction operation (or series of operations) to
carry it on beyond the authorisation conferred by the licence;
(b) make provision as to whether or not, in relation to any
abstraction, the exemption provided for by the regulations is to
be counted cumulatively with any other exemption which a
person has by virtue of this section or section 27 above.
(5) The regulations may make provision for a licence granted under this
Chapter and which is for the time being in force to cease to have effect,
or to cease to have effect to the extent specified in the regulations, if it
authorises an activity which falls to any extent within the exemption
provided for by the regulations.”
10 Orders under section 33 of the WRA, etc
(1) The appropriate authority may by order revoke—
(a) any order made under section 33 of the WRA (power to provide for
further rights to abstract),
(b) any order made under any local or private Act which provides for any
(i) the restriction on abstraction (within the meaning of Chapter 2
of Part 2 of the WRA), or
(ii) that restriction and the one imposed by section 24(2) of the
or for an exception which has the effect of such an exception.
(2) An order of a kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) is
referred to below in this section as an “exception order”.
(3) In this section, “the appropriate authority” means—
(a) in relation to the revocation of an exception order which relates to
inland waters or underground strata which are wholly in England, the
Secretary of State,
(b) in relation to the revocation of an exception order which relates to
inland waters or underground strata which are wholly in Wales, the
(c) in relation to the revocation of an exception order which relates to
inland waters or underground strata which are partly in England and
partly in Wales—
(i) the Secretary of State, in relation to the English part,
(ii) the Assembly, in relation to the Welsh part.
(4) Subject to subsection (3)(c), an order under this section may revoke the
exception order either wholly, or only in relation to—
(a) any one or more areas of inland waters specified in the order under this
section or any class of inland waters so specified, or
(b) any underground strata described in the order under this section in any
way mentioned in section 33(2)(b) of the WRA.
(5) As respects all or any part of the inland waters or underground strata in
relation to which the exception order is revoked by the order under this
section, the order under this section may, for the purposes of section 27(1) of
the WRA, also make any provision which could be made by an order under
section 27A(1) of the WRA as substituted by section 6 of this Act, except as
mentioned in subsection (6).
(6) The exception referred to in subsection (5) is that any other quantity specified
in the order under this section for the purposes of section 27(1) of the WRA may
only be greater than 20 cubic metres.
(7) If an order under this section does make any such provision as is mentioned in
subsection (5), an order under section 27A(1) of the WRA (substituted as
mentioned there) may include provision revoking or amending that provision.
(8) If an order made under subsection (1)(b) revokes the exception order wholly,
or wholly so far as it is not already revoked, the order under subsection (1)(b)
may also repeal so much of the local or private Act as constitutes the power to
make the exception order.
(9) The procedure provided for by section 33 of and Schedule 6 to the WRA, or (as
the case may be) any corresponding procedure provided for by the local or
private Act in question, does not apply in relation to an order under this
(10) The power of the Assembly to make an order by virtue of subsection (3)(b) or
(c)(ii) of this section is to be treated as if it were a relevant transferred
environmental function for the purposes of paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 to the
Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38) (intervention in case of functions relating
(11) No order may be made under this section before the coming into force of
section 6 of this Act.
(12) Section 33 of the WRA shall cease to have effect; but (subject to the provisions
of this section) any order under section 33 of the WRA which was in force
immediately before its repeal shall continue in force despite the repeal.