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Session 2002 - 03
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Other Bills before Parliament

Water Bill [HL]

Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



                  (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.”


 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)           For the purposes of this Chapter, a person who is in a position to carry

out an abstraction of water which—

                  (a)                 falls within subsection (1) above; and

                  (b)                 also falls within subsection (3) or (4) below,

                         shall be taken to have the right to do so.


           (3)           An abstraction falls within this subsection if it is an abstraction from

inland waters carried out by or on behalf of an occupier of land

contiguous to those waters at the place where the abstraction is effected

(“contiguous land”), and—

                  (a)                 the water is abstracted for use on a holding consisting of the


contiguous land with or without other land held with that land;


                  (b)                 it is abstracted for use on that holding for either or both of the

following purposes—

                        (i)                        the domestic purposes of the occupier’s household;


                        (ii)                       agricultural purposes other than spray irrigation.

           (4)           An abstraction falls within this subsection if it is an abstraction from

underground strata and the water is abstracted by or on behalf of an

individual as a supply of water for the domestic purposes of his



           (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

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.




Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



           (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

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.


           (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

this Act.

           (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.

 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.



Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



     (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

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, 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



Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



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


           (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”.



Water Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Abstraction and impounding



     (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—

                  (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”.



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