An Abstraction License is a licence to divert either surface water or ground water for a designated purpose in England and Wales. Abstraction licenses are issued by the Environment Agency with head offices in Bristol.
In recent years, there has developed significant concern that economic development is hindered by the inability to market and transfer abstraction licenses for industrial, municipal and hydropower purposes. Consequently, the Parliament is contemplating legislation that would facilitate the marketing of abstraction licences. For more information the reader is referred to the newsletter on abstraction licences on this site.
At present, it is possible to shift abstraction licences around but with great difficulty. For a list of abstraction licence holders in Wales follow this link.
Competition is slowly opening up. However significant obstacles to common carriage exist. Many are politically motivated to prevent competition.
Several companies are moving aggressively into a competitive stance with the creation of "Inset Schemes." An inset occurs where a user uses more than 250 megaliters of water per year and wishes to be served by a utility other than the local utility and can find available water. The insetting utility may use its own water or the water assets of the local supplier with agreement of the local supplier.
The creation of inset service is difficult and only 7 inset schemes have been approved.
WaterBankSM because of the 35 year history of Dr. William Turner in acquiring and transferring water in the United States, is very knowledgeable in the mechanics of working with water users and abstraction licences. In October 2000, he met with holders of abstraction licences in Wales. He also has had extensive discussions with the Environment Agency and water companies in the United Kingdom.
WaterBankSM has developed strategies for identifying abstraction licence holders who are interested in marketing their licences.
For those who are interested in marketing abstraction licenses, WaterBankSM, is developing a network of private companies who will notify WaterBankSM, when they require water. If you are looking for water or are interested in selling your abstraction licence, please contact us.