This content is exclusively provided by FAO / FAOLEX

Water Environment (Abstractions and Associated Impoundments) Act 2022 (No. 48 of 2022).

Type of law

This Act mainly provides new regulation of water abstraction in Ireland. The Act consists of 166 sections divide into 11 Parts: Preliminary and General (1); Regulations for Certain Abstractions (2); Exemptions (3); Register of Abstractions (4); Licensing of Abstractions (5); Abstraction by Irish Water (6); Waterways Ireland (7); Electricity Supply Board (8); Enforcement (9); Miscellaneous and Transitional Provisions (10); Amendment to other Acts (11).
The primary purpose of the Act is to provide for a modern registration, licensing and control regime for water abstractions. The system of registration and licensing is to be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, with local authorities also maintaining an ongoing enforcement role. The Act also: Provides for a simple registration system for water abstractions, subject to minimum threshold where registration is not required; Provides a licensing regime, administered by the EPA, for water abstractions over a specified threshold; Provides an updated power for Irish Water, as the national authority for water services, to take abstractions, subject to EPA licensing, and also subject to an appeal to An Bord Plean la in relation to possible impacts on third party water rights (Emergency powers will be available to Irish Water to take abstractions where required due to drought or other stated reasons); Provides for compensation for material adverse effects caused by interference with water rights as a result of a public abstraction; Makes specific provision to allow Irish Water abstract water from ESB reservoirs with the agreement of the ESB; Gives specific recognition and protection for canals and other navigable waters under the control of Waterways Ireland; recognises the role of the ESB and Waterways Ireland; Gives necessary environmental protections to water sources.
Long title of text
An Act to provide for the regulation of water abstractions and their associated impoundments; to give further effect to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 20001 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy; to provide for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to regulate water abstractions not requiring a licence; to provide for the Minister to make regulations to exempt certain categories of water abstraction from certain requirements of the Act; to provide for the establishment of a register of water abstractions; to provide for licensing of water abstractions; to provide for the Minister to specify by order the daily rate of an abstraction that requires registration and licensing; to provide for the conferral of licensing and certain enforcement functions on the Environmental Protection Agency; to give further effect to Directive No. 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 20112 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment amended by Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 20143 ; to provide for Irish Water to carry out abstractions for the purpose of the performance of its functions; to provide for certain temporary and emergency abstractions required to be carried out by Irish Water and for those abstractions to be exempt from certain requirements of the Act; to provide for compensation for certain abstractions carried out by Irish Water; to provide for abstractions by Irish Water from reservoirs of the Electricity Supply Board; to provide for particular arrangements relating to abstractions from canals or navigable waters; to confer certain enforcement functions on local authorities; to repeal the Water Supplies Act 1942 and certain provisions of the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1964 and the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 and to revoke the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018 ( S.I. No. 261 of 2018 ); to amend the Canals Act 1986 , the Shannon Navigation Act 1990 and the Planning and Development Act 2000; and to provide for related matters.
Date of text
Source language


Legislation Amendment