Monitoring Threats to Irish Rivers

EPA Water Abstraction Register

An abstraction is the removal or diversion of water from a river, lake, stream, spring, groundwater well, borehole or estuary, for any purpose.

By law, if you abstract 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) of water or more per day, you must register this abstraction with the EPA. 25 cubic meters is equivalent to about 150 bathtubs of water. A farm with 200 dairy cows, or a housing estate with 42 households, would use around 25 cubic meters of water per day. A well supplying a single household typically abstracts less than one cubic meter of water per day.  


These regulations are set out in the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 261 of 2018).

Anyone can request a version of the abstractions register by contacting the EPA at edenabstractionsupport@epa.ie

Note 1.

The Water Abstraction Register does not include the names of the entities abstracting water

Note 2.

The Water Abstraction Register does not include the abstraction point, instead it narrows it down to a general area, which can make analysis difficult

Note 3.

The Water Abstraction Register does not include any abstractions by Irish Water

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