Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Hydrology and Lakes

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Science pp 688-689

Water charges (UK): Abstractions and discharges

  • R. W. Herschy

Under Act of Parliament the Environment Agency is required to raise, through charges, sufficient funds to cover the costs relating to issuing and monitoring discharge consents and their impact on receiving waters. The charges are raised from persons or industry making either an abstraction or discharge or both. The principle behind the scheme of charges is that the Environment Agency costs should be recovered from those making the abstraction or discharge rather than the general taxpayer. About 70% of the funding of the Agency is raised through water abstraction charges, levis on local authorities for flood defense work, pollution control and fisheries, navigation and recreation charges. The remainder is in the form of grants from central government.

Abstraction charges (1996)

The annual abstraction charge is calculated as follows:
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(W1)
where V is the annual licenced volume (m3 × 103), A is the source factor (normally unity), B is the season factor, C is the loss factor and U is the unit charge based on region in pounds sterling per 1000 m3.
A (the source factor) is normally unity unless the abstraction is made from certain rivers (3.0) or from tidal rivers (0.2). B (the season factor) is unity if the abstraction is made all year, 1.6 for summer-only abstraction and 0.16 for winter-only abstraction. C (the loss factor) is based on the purpose of the abstraction and has four categories as follows:
  • high loss: water abstracted but not returned (e.g. spray irrigation);

  • medium loss: public and private water supply, etc.;

  • low loss: (e.g. vegetable Washing);

  • very low loss: (e.g. power generation, effluent dilution)

U is the standard unit charge which is assessed for each of the ten regions in England and Wales as given in Table W6.
Table W6

Standard unit charges for abstraction for each water authority in England and Wales

Region

Standard unit charge (pounds sterling per 1000 m3)

Anglian

13.94

Northumbria

16.22

North West

7.98

Severn Trent

8.44

Southern

10.28

South West

12.50

Thames

7.95

Welsh

7.76

Wessex

11.00

Yorkshire

6.29

Example calculations:
  • A licence in Anglian region authorizes 100 000 m3 per annum abstraction for spray irrigation during the months from April to August.

  • A licence in the Thames region authorizes 10000000 m3 per annum abstraction for public water supply.

In addition to the above a sum of £100 ($150) is payable for a licence to abstract. Abstractions of less than 20 m3 per day are exempt.

Discharge charges (1996)

The annual charge for discharging to rivers is calculated from the following formula:
https://static-content.springer.com/image/prt%3A978-1-4020-4497-7%2F22/978-1-4020-4497-7_22_Part_Equ2_HTML.gif
(W2)
where V is the volume factor based on cubic meters per day, C is the contents factor, W is the receiving water factor and R is the unit rate factor (£401 for 1995–1996). V is found from Table W7. C (the contents factor) is based on seven bands of effluent discharge depending on the type of effluent as follow.
  • Band A (factor 14.0), the most critical, includes trade or sewage effluent containing pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, biphenyls, hydrocarbons, alcohols, phenol compounds, etc.

  • Band B (factor 5.0) includes trade or sewage effluent containing metals, cyanides, sulpfides, ethanol, etc.

  • Band C (factor 3.0) includes sewage effluent and organic trade effluents.

  • Band D (factor 2.0) includes discharges which do not fall under A, B or C and trade effluent not specified in E. F or G.

  • Band E (factor 1.0) includes site drainage, storm discharges and cooling water.

  • Band F (factor 0.5) includes surface water and trade effluent with due regard to suspended solids, iron, pH and chlorine.

  • Band G (factor 0.3) includes trade effluent of direct cooling water with regard to volume, temperature, pH and chlorine W, the receiving water factor, may have the following values:

    Groundwater or land

    0.5

    Coastal

    0.8

    Surface water

    1.0

    Estuarial water

    1.5

    Table W7

    Volume factors V for discharges

    Volume (m3 day–1)

     

    More than

    Up to and including

    Factor

     

    5

    0.3

    5

    20

    0.5

    20

    100

    1.0

    100

    1000

    2.0

    1000

    10000

    3.0

    10000

    50000

    5.0

    50000

    150000

    9.0

    150000

     

    14.0

R, the financial factor or unit rate for 1995–1996 was £401 ($600)

Example calculations:
  • A consent allows for a discharge of 8000 m3 per day of organic sewage effluent to a river. Equation (W2) is:
    https://static-content.springer.com/image/prt%3A978-1-4020-4497-7%2F22/978-1-4020-4497-7_22_Part_Equc_HTML.gif
  • A consent allows for a discharge of 50 m3 per day of site drainage from trade premises to coastal waters.
    https://static-content.springer.com/image/prt%3A978-1-4020-4497-7%2F22/978-1-4020-4497-7_22_Part_Equd_HTML.gif

Charges are subject to 17 1/2% tax, No charge is made for discharge of sewage effluent of 5 m3 or less per day.

Source

UK Environment Agency, Annual Charges 1995/96

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998
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