Water abstraction

Since 1965, abstractions and impoundments have been controlled by a licensing system. This used to be administered by the individual water authorities. When the water industry was privatised in 1989, the regulatory authority became one body, the National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency).

The ways of the individual water authorities needed rationalising. Richard Buxton worked with the NRA, then the Agency, for many years. In so doing we have gained expertise in the law and practice relating to all (or almost all!) aspects of licensing control, including-

  • The legal background
  • Groundwater investigation consents
  • Information gathering (including environmental assessment) for licence applications
  • Administration of licence applications
  • Appeals to the Secretary of State
  • The Agency's own licence applications
  • Dewatering, minerals drillings and conservation notices
  • Revocation and variation of licences
  • Determination of licences
  • Issue of licences
  • Enforcement of licensing controls
  • Disclosure of information
  • Successions to licences
  • Drought permits and drought orders
  • Crown exemption
  • Judicial review and public inquiries

Richard Buxton has edited the water resources sections of Halsbury's Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents and Halsbury's Laws of England.

He has given lectures and seminars on water resources law and public inquiry training.

In January 1999, we represented a major organisation for a public inquiry over determination of water abstraction licences.

Our involvement with water quality work has included particularly work on farm waste regulation.