Meaning of "abstraction"

The protection of groundwater and the effective management of water resources are likely to be environmental issues of major importance in the coming years. Central to the British legal system of controls has been the requirement for abstraction licences under the Water Resources Act 1963, now consolidated under Part II of the Water Resources Act 1991, and in a recent decision the Court of Appeal has attempted to clarify the meaning of the key term "abstraction" as used in this legislation.

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