Now that 2014 has passed, those who hold a water abstraction licence from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) should be collating and sending their data returns to the organisation. There is a very short window left to do this, so please get your returns off today.
SEPA is now making it easier for licence holders to submit their water abstraction data returns. Previously, licence holders could only submit paper copies of their data, but now they can send returns electronically. SEPA has produced a template form that can be downloaded directly from their website at: http://www.sepa.org.uk/water/water_regulation/data_returns.aspx for operators to complete and email directly back to the organisation. Licence holders can still submit their data in a paper form to the office stated on their licence, but SEPA would prefer electronic submission.
Even if no water has been abstracted for any period, this information must still be reported to SEPA (as a nil return) using the abstraction data returns form. This will enable them to make more informed assessments on the potential impacts to the environment. 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.
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.