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Apply to change an existing abstraction or impoundment licence

How to change an existing abstraction or impoundment licence

Minor change

A minor change to a water resources licence is one that won’t have any effects which people could be concerned about. You must have the correct authority to apply for a minor change or reduction, and must apply in writing using the forms on this page.

Types of minor change include:

  • change of name/trading title and address
  • altering imperial units to metric units
  • removing a condition relating to the area of land on which water can be used
  • altering the purpose to a lower loss class or within the same loss class

To apply for a minor change please complete form WRF.


Reductions in quantity are also classed as a minor change, however, in this situation, please complete form WRF.

For more complex changes such as increasing abstraction quantities, changing abstraction location or changing the licensed purpose to a higher loss class, a formal licence variation must be applied for. See Apply for a water abstraction or impoundment licence for details.

Transfer (of a holder)

To transfer the licence from one holder to another, please complete form WRF. With the application form please make sure you submit any appropriate additional documentation detailed in the application form or guidance note.


The original Licence Holder can apportion their licence either by transferring part of their licence, and continuing to hold the remainder, or by splitting the licence between two or more new licence holders.

To apportion a licence the original and new Licence Holders must agree the terms of the apportionment, and the new licence holder must occupy or have a right of access to the point of abstraction.

To apply for an apportionment please complete form WRF. Both the original and prospective new Licence Holder must complete this form.


If the Licence Holder dies or is an individual (not a company) who is declared bankrupt, the licence can become the responsibility (can be ‘vested’) of their trustee.

The trustee must notify us in writing within 15 months that they are responsible for the licence, giving their name and contact address for billing or any other communication relevant to the licence. If they do not notify us, the licence will cease to have effect after 15 months.

Revocation of a licence

You can cancel or revoke your abstraction licence by completing and submitting form WRF.

To revoke an impounding licence please complete form WRF.

If you wish to remove an existing impounding structure from a watercourse, please complete forms WRA and WRE.

Important!  Please provide your licence number when filling in the form to revoke your water abstraction licence. This is particularly important if you hold more than one licence so we can make sure we revoke the right one.

Please note: once you have revoked your licence there's no guarantee we'll be able to grant you another one.

Where do I send my application form?

Please send your application to us

by email:

by post:
Permit Receipt Centre, Natural Resources Wales, Tŷ Cambria, 29 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0EY

Related document downloads

Form WRA Applicant details and proposal outline WORD [164.7 KB]
Form WRE Application for a new impoundment licence, technical variation to an impoundment licence or the removal of an existing impoundment WORD [146.3 KB]
Form WRF Administrative variations to existing licences WORD [180.1 KB]
Guidance note WRX Water Resources application forms PDF [327.6 KB]

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