2014 irrigation water abstraction data returns

  18 December 2014
Now that 2014 is almost over, if you hold an irrigation water abstraction licence from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) you should be in the process of collating and sending in your data returns. They must be returned by 31 December 2014.

SEPA has made it easier for licence holders to submit their water abstraction data returns, which can now be done by downloading a template form directly from our website. Once it is complete, you can just email it back to WRDataReturns@sepa.org.uk. You can still submit your data in a paper form to the office stated on your licence, but SEPA would prefer electronic submission.

With just over two weeks to go SEPA has received less than 50% of the required returns.

Stuart McGowan, SEPA Unit Manager, said:

“It’s very important to return this information, even if you haven’t abstracted water for any period. If that is the case you must still complete a form and return it to SEPA (as a nil return). This will enable us to make more informed assessments on the potential impacts to the environment.  The exception to this is if you have applied to SEPA for a temporary cessation of charges for 2014, in which case a return is not required.

“Where a nil return is received you are also eligible for a reduction in subsistence fees of 25%, subject to a meter being used. Please see Annex II of the charging scheme guidance for more detail.

“The information is used by us in two ways. It shows whether licence conditions have been met and allows an assessment of the impact of abstractions on the water environment to be carried out. This enables better decision making about the availability of water resources in Scotland.”

Failure to submit data returns is considered non-compliance with a condition of the licence and may result in enforcement action being taken by SEPA.

The information you supply is also required by SEPA for Cross Compliance purposes. Data returns are required to show compliance with the regulations, and a failure to make a data return could affect any payments you claim under cross compliance related schemes administered through SGRPID.