Charges for abstraction and impoundment licence applications

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. 

What fees will I have to pay?

There are 3 types of charges you might need to pay for abstraction and impoundment applications and licences:

  • application fees
  • advertising fees
  • annual fees

We won’t be able to accept your application unless you have paid the correct application fee.

How much is the application fee?

When you submit your application, you will need to pay an application fee. The application fee required depends on what you are applying for, as detailed below.

Technical variation applications are also charged in line with the fees below.

  • a full abstraction licence application is £135 (to abstract water over a period of 28 days or more)
  • a transfer licence application is £1500 (to take water from one source of supply to another source of supply without
    an intervening use, over a period of 28 days or more)
  • a temporary abstraction licence application is £1500 (a one-off abstraction of water over a period of less than
    28 days)
  • an impoundment (or impoundment removal) licence application is £1500
  • hydropower scheme application fees are based on power output, see below.

Annual Charges

There are no annual charges for an impoundment licence, temporary licence or transfer licence.

Annual charges may apply for a full abstraction licence. The amount you pay will depend on:

  • what you use the water for
  • the source you take it from
  • the season in which you take it

A number of factors are used to calculate what the annual charge will be.

Further details are available on our charging page and details of the factors and calculations can be found in our Abstraction Charges Scheme.

Our charging scheme is updated annually.

Spray irrigation abstraction

If your licence is to abstract water for spray irrigation, you may be able to apply for a two part tariff agreement once your licence has been issued.

Schedule 2 of our Abstraction Charges Scheme contains further information on the conditions you need to meet and how the charge is calculated.

If you want to apply for a two-part tariff you need to complete and submit the Two-Part Tariff application form.

Hydroelectric power generation application fees

There is a tiered application fee for hydroelectric power generation applications, depending on the capacity of your scheme.

  • £375 for schemes generating 25 kW or less.
  • £750 for schemes generating over 25 kW up to 50 kW.
  • £1,125 for schemes generating over 50 kW up to 100 kW.
  • £1,500 for schemes generating over 100 kW up to 250 kW.

Larger hydropower schemes (over 250 kW) which are more complex and at a scale which requires greater technical input from us are charged at the base charge of £1,500 with an additional charge of £125 per hour to cover time and material costs.

Where applications for an abstraction licence and impoundment licence for associated activities are jointly submitted, a single application fee will be charged in accordance with the charging scheme.

How to pay the application fee

The fee must be paid when you submit your application form and supporting documents.

We can accept card payments by Visa, MasterCard or Maestro cards only.

If you choose to pay by electronic transfer (BACS), you will need to use the following information to make your payment. You must use the same reference you generated at the start of the application form as your BACS payment reference.

Company name: Natural Resources Wales

Company address: Income Department, PO BOX 663, Cardiff, CF24 0TP
Bank: RBS
Address: National Westminster Bank Plc, 2 ½ Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4BA
Sort code: 60-70-80
Account number: 10014438

Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to Natural Resources Wales and crossed ‘a/c payee only.’ On the back of your cheque you should make a note of your proposal name and application reference number.

Making payments from outside the UK

Payment must be received in sterling.

IBAN number is GB70 NWBK6070 8010 014438


If you do not quote your payment reference number, there may be a delay in processing your payment and application.

How much is the advertising fee?

Your application for a new licence or variation to an existing licence may need to be advertised.

We decide if the proposal needs to be advertised based on the location of your site and the potential risk to the environment or other water users.

We arrange to publish the notice in a local newspaper and on our website.

If advertising is needed you will need to pay us a £100 administration fee and half the cost of the bilingual advert. We will pay for the other half of the advert.

Advertising costs vary between newspapers but are usually between £500 and £1,500.

We will contact you to confirm whether advertising is needed and provide details of the costs you will need to pay.

Once the advert has been placed, you will be invoiced for the costs. The invoice will explain how to pay these costs.

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