Apply to renew or change an existing abstraction or impoundment licence

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 three types of variation you can apply for.

Administrative variation

  • change the name or address of the licence holder
  • transfer the licence to someone else
  • reduce the quantities you abstract

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

Simple variation/renewal

  • split the licensed quantities you abstract between two or more persons (apportionment)
  • extension of a self-destruct clause condition (this must be done prior to it coming into effect)
  • update frequency of recording and reporting conditions in line with current guidance
  • same terms renewal (where no environmental or other concerns have been raised in your renewal reminder letter)
  • different terms renewals (where the change is a reduction. Meaning a reduction in volumes or removal of a point/purpose and associated volumes)

For renewals that don’t meet the criteria above, for example, a different terms renewal with an increase in volumes or a same terms renewal where environmental concerns have been raised in the reminder letter, these are charged at the same rate as a technical variation application and require forms WRA and WRD to be completed, see below.

Technical variation or renewal

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

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

To make a technical change to your abstraction licence:



To make a technical change to your impoundment licence:


If your abstraction licence is to take ground water 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?

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

An application fee is required for simple and technical changes. 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 simple or 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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