Illegal abstraction ‘on the increase’ in West Country, EA warns

Increasing levels of illegal abstraction in the West Country are contributing to falling groundwater and river levels in the region, the Environment Agency has warned.

It is calling on landowners to remember to seek advice before extracting any additional water, warning that existing licence conditions must be complied with.

“Failure to do so is an offence and can result in enforcement action,” said Caz Lane, a senior environment office at the EA. “We are undertaking spot checks to ensure licence holders remain compliant.”

In a statement, the EA acknowledged that “illegal abstraction is on the increase” in some parts of the region, pointing to new boreholes being drilled without permission. 

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