Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Water use and efficiency legislation

Water use and efficiency legislation

This page provides links to the full text of key pieces of environmental legislation relating to water use and efficiency. The websites hosting the legislation may list amendments separately.

If you are setting up an environmental management system (EMS) for your business, you can use this list to start compiling your legal register. Your legal adviser or environmental consultant will be able to tell you if other environmental legislation applies to your specific business.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and environmental reports

Water use and efficiency legislation Northern Ireland

Water (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1999/662 Enables the Department of the Environment (DoE) to make provisions to control the abstraction and impoundment of water.

Water Abstraction and Impoundment (Licensing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2006/482 Sets out a control regime for regulating the abstraction of water from underground strata and waterways and for constructing, altering or operating impounding works.

Water Abstraction and Impoundment (Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2007/122 Amend 2006/482. Provides for a water undertaker to be notified of any licence applications made to the Department and for the water undertaker to make representations to the Department within 28 days.

Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2005/32 Outlines measures for public participation in creating plans or programmes relating to the environment.

Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2006/483 Amends 2005/32 as a result of Water Abstraction and Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, outlining measures for public participation in creating plans or programmes relating to the environment.

Water and Sewerage Services (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order SI 2006/1946 Enables the DoE to introduce controls on water abstraction and impounding and sets out rules on information sharing about water and sewerage charges.

Water use and efficiency legislation Scotland

Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 Sets out duties and powers of public authorities to protect the water environment and to regulate potential polluting activities, and sets up river basin management districts.

Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2011/209 Replaces 2005/348 (as amended). Increases the transparency and efficiency of processing applications for water use licences, and introduces greater flexibility to deal with emergency situations where there are imminent risks of serious harm to people, property or the environment.

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities)(Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 These regulations amend the rules governing a number of activities that affect the water environment, including works close to or in watercourses, certain agricultural activities and the storage and use of pesticides.

The Water Environment (Miscellaneous) (Scotland) Regulations 2017

The Regulations amend existing general binding rules (GBRs) 3, 9 to 13, 15, 17 to 20, 23 and 24, and inserts new GBRs 25 to 28. Consolidate the oil storage regulations into the Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) and extend them to include storage in depots for the onward distribution of oil.

Water (Scotland) Act 1980 Sets out general duties and powers of the statutory water undertaker in Scotland to supply water, maintain water quality, and conserve and protect water resources.

NetRegs environmental legislation

In this Guideline

Benefits of using water efficiently

Analyse how much water you use

Top tips for saving water

Grants, loans and allowances for water efficiency measures

Water use authorisations in Northern Ireland

Water use authorisations in Scotland

Water use and efficiency legislation

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