Abstraction and impoundment in Northern Ireland

If you abstract more than 20 cubic metres (m³) of water a day from surface waters or groundwater, you must get an abstraction licence from the NIEA.

If you abstract 20m³ or less of water a day you must:

  • be able to demonstrate the volume of water you abstract
  • minimise water leaks
  • prevent any contamination or pollution.

If you abstract between 10m³ and 20m³ of water a day you must also notify the NIEA.

Check if you need an impoundment licence

If you impound (store) water on a watercourse, for example to create a reservoir, you may need an impoundment licence from the NIEA.

For more information about when you need an abstraction or impoundment licence, see our guideline:

Water use and efficiency

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