Apply to change an existing abstraction or impoundment licence

Update: 31/03/2023 


Our permitting charges will remain at 2022-2023 rates until any new charging schemes are agreed.  


See details of the proposed charges we intend to implement for 2023-2024, subject to Ministerial approval. 

If you need to make a change to your water abstraction or impoundment licence, you will need to apply for a variation.

Types of change you can make

There are two types of variation you can apply for.

Minor change (administrative variation)

  • change the name or address of the licence holder
  • transfer the licence to someone else
  • reduce the quantities you abstract
  • split the licensed quantities you abstract between two or more persons (apportionment)

To make a minor change to your abstraction or impoundment licence, fill in form WRF

Complex change (technical variation)

Any changes to the licence conditions that are not listed above, including:

  • increase the quantities you abstract
  • change the location of the abstraction
  • change the design / structure of an impoundment
  • changes to drawings and maps attached to the licence document

To make a complex change to your abstraction licence:



To make a complex change to your impoundment licence:


If your abstraction licence is to take groundwater and you want to apply to increase your quantities, you may need to apply for a new Groundwater Investigation Consent before you can apply to change your abstraction licence.

How much will it cost?

Minor changes are free of charge and we aim to process your application within 20 working days.

An application fee is required for complex changes (technical variations). These are charged at the same rates as a new application.

You can find these on our Charges for abstraction or impoundment licences page. We will make a decision on your technical variation application within 4 months of receiving a complete application if advertising is needed, or 3 months if advertising is not needed.

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