Water Abstractions’ Register

Date released: Dec 06 2018

Water Abstractions Register Regulations

In accordance with the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018, the EPA has been asked to establish and manage a national register of water abstractions, whereby people who abstract more than 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) of water each day are required to register their water abstraction. The deadline for people to register their water abstraction was 16th November 2018. In the River Basin Management Plan 2018-21, the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government estimated that there are approximately 3,000 water abstractions in the country that are abstracting 25 cubic meters or more of water on a given day.



A total of 1,359 abstraction registrations have been made with the EPA by November 30th 2018, relating to approximately 2,200 abstraction points of 25 cubic meters or more per day. An additional 144 people have registered for access to the abstraction web portal, but have not completed their registration.

When the total number of registrants is compared with the estimates made in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-21, it highlights that approximately two-thirds of those expected to register their abstraction have now registered.

Of the 1,359 registrations, 998 (73%) are abstractions for the provision of drinking water. When comparisons are made with the sectoral estimates included in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-21, this highlights that most of the Public and Group Water Supply Schemes appear to have been registered, and a reasonable proportion of abstractions in many other sectors also appear to have been registered.

However, only 72 agricultural abstractions have been registered to date, which is less than 10% of the sectoral estimate in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-21. Similarly, although we have had correspondence with golf course representatives in relation to their abstractions, we have received only two registrations for golf course abstractions and the sectoral estimate in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-21 indicated that over 300 golf courses are likely to have abstractions that require registration.

There are also several sectors, such as quarrying, hydropower and race courses where we have had good engagement with sectoral representatives and have already had a significant number of registrations; but we are aware that representatives within the sectors are assisting their members with registration and therefore we are expecting further registrations from these sectors in the coming weeks.
Overall, this highlights that further efforts are required in relation to increasing the number of abstraction registrations in both the agricultural and golf course sectors, and the EPA are working closely with the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government to increase the number of registrations from these sectors.

The EPA will also work closely with the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and Local Authorities with regards to identifying small commercial enterprises and any public authority building abstractions that may not yet have registered.

Furthermore, in 2019, the EPA will assess the registration database to evaluate whether there are abstractions that should have been registered but, for whatever reason, were not registered. The EPA will also work with the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and other public authorities in relation to engagement with people who have not yet registered.


Registration Process

Once an initial request has been made to the EPA for access to the Water Abstraction Module on the EDEN web portal (www.edenireland.ie) (https://www.edenireland.ie), registration of an abstraction is made directly within that Water Abstraction Module. Instructions for registering and links to the EDEN web portal are provided on the EPA website at www.epa.ie/pubs/advice/water/waterabstraction

In addition to providing advice and technical workshops with sectoral stakeholder groups during the period of registration, the EPA has provided online documents, including a Quick Abstraction Volume Estimator, worked examples, FAQs and info-videos to support the registration process. Further support has been provided and is available by contacting edenabstractionsupport@epa.ie. Upon completion of the registration process, the registrant will receive an abstraction registration code.


Clarification relating to the Abstraction Regulations

Following correspondence between the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) and the EPA; the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government confirmed to the EPA that water abstractions for the purposes of dilution of animal slurry during agitation do not require registration.

However, agricultural water abstractions for other purposes, such as irrigation or the provision of drinking water for animals still require registration if they are greater than 25 cubic meters of water per day.