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United Utilities granted continuation of water licence

The Environment Agency has granted an application from United Utilities to vary their water abstraction licence at South Egremont, West Cumbria.  The variation allows the water company to maintain their current permitted daily maximum level of abstraction.

United Utilities applied to the Environment Agency to allow the water company to continue to take up to 11 mega litres of water in the future, to help maintain a resilient water supply to West Cumbria and protect the sensitive natural environment.

Without the agreed variation to the licence, at the end of March 2019, the daily maximum permitted volume of water would have dropped to 8 mega litres a day.

Sharon Kennedy, the Environment Agency’s Environment Manager for Cumbria, said:

“The Environment Agency licenses the amount of water United Utilities can abstract from Egremont boreholes to boost their water supply network.

“We have granted an application from United Utilities to vary its licence to allow the water company to continue to take the same daily maximum volume as it is currently permitted to take from the boreholes, when required.

“The quality of drinking water is the responsibility of United Utilities and is regulated by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.”

Egremont boreholes are being used as a source of water while United Utilities’ Thirlmere pipeline project is underway.

The Environment Agency uses regulatory powers to manage water availability to maintain essential supplies for people and the environment and will always balance the needs of the public, industry, farmers and the environment.

West Cumbria currently gets all its water from local lakes and boreholes, unlike much of the rest of the North West which is part of United Utilities’ large Integrated Resource Zone. Water is moved around this extensive network to supply households from a variety of sources, including large reservoirs.

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