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Last updated more than 5 years ago
Any business wishing to carry out, inter alia, water extraction or disposal concerning surface or ground water or that wishes to carry out development works close to a watercourse must request permission from the Minister of the Environment.
This mechanism relating to the fight against water pollution aims in particular to:
- protect the health of humans and animals and ensure environmental balance;
- protect the aquatic environment and achieve a sustainable use of water;
- ensure the sustainable supply of drinking water based on the long-term protection of the available resources;
- reduce the risk of flooding;
- protect the surrounding countryside and land.
The application should be submitted to the Water Management Authority (Administration de la gestion de l’eau).
Who is concerned
The water permit concerns all private or public natural or legal persons planning to carry out or set up any of the following as part of their activities:
- the extraction of water, solids or gases from surface or groundwater;
- the direct or indirect disposal of water of all forms, solids, gases or liquids other than water into surface or groundwater, including with the aim of artificially replenishing or increasing the groundwater supply;
- all development and construction works and installations in riparian or flood zones;
- any measures affecting natural seepage or involving collection of runoff water and any wastewater treatment infrastructure in zones subject to a special development plan (PAP);
- any infrastructure for the abstraction, treatment or purification of water and the storage of water intended for human consumption;
- the development and operating of quarries, mines and mining companies;
- stripping riverbanks of their vegetation, and particularly felling trees and uprooting shrubs and bushes, as well as planting coniferous trees at a distance of less than 30 metres from the edge of a watercourse;
- diversions, abstractions, changes to banks or beds of surface water and, more generally, any work that is likely to change the rate or manner of water flow, or negatively affect the marine flora and fauna;
- the subtraction and discharge of thermal energy from or through surface and groundwater;
- any creation of or change to a direct or indirect connection between surface and groundwater that will increase the likelihood of groundwater pollution, particularly boring or sealing the bed of a watercourse;
- any works, construction, storage, installation or activity within protected areas or water reserves of national interest;
- geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide in geological formations that nature has made permanently unsuitable for other uses.
How to proceed
Preparing the application
When applying for a water permit, the following items must be included:
- the general application for authorisation (demande d'autorisation générale - reference F-AUT-GEN);
- a recent cadastral map (extract from the land register) showing the parcels of land concerned or portions thereof (scale 1:2,500);
- an extract from a topographical map indicating the planned location of the establishment (scale 1:10,000);
- an explanatory memorandum;
- a precise plan of the intended location (depending on the project);
- a plan of the piping networks (rainwater and used water piping) in the event of discharge water, and the calculations and sections of the infiltration system in the event of water ingress;
- any other document providing a clear picture of the project.
Depending on the project concerned in the application, applicants will have to add one of the following forms, along with the supporting documents which are specific to each type of application:
- the application for water catchment from springs (demande d'authorisation pour captages de sources - reference F-AUT-CS);
- the application for geothermal drilling (demande d'autorisation pour forages géothermiques - reference F-AUT-FG);
- the application for water extraction from existing water boreholes/wells (demande d'autorisation de prélèvement à partir de forage(s)/puits existant(s) - reference F-AUT-FC);
- the application for water extraction from a watercourse (demande d'autorisation de prélèvement d'eau dans un cours d'eau - reference F-AUT-PRE) ;
- the application for storm drains / mixed water retention systems (demande d'autorisation pour bassins d'orage / canalisations de rétention pour eaux mixtes - reference F-AUT-BO);
- the application for farms (demande d'autorisation pour exploitations agricoles - reference F-AUT-AGR);
- the application for special development plans (demande d'autorisation pour plans d'aménagement particuliers - reference F-AUT-PAP).
General application procedure
Where the establishment or activity also requires a permit for the protection of nature and natural resources (article 8 of the amended law of 19 January 2004), 1 additional copy should be enclosed.
Submitting a separate water permit application is not necessary where the project is also subject to a classified establishment permit. In that case, the applicant includes 2 additional copies in his application for a classified establishment permit.
The Water Management Authority assesses the completeness of the application and then informs the applicant of the assessment and indicates any elements which may be missing.
Notification of the decision to authorise or refuse a permit is sent to the applicant within 3 months following the date on which confirmation that the application is complete is sent.
Special procedure for new boreholes/wells
Whenever the project concerns a new borehole or well, the authorisation procedure takes place in 2 steps.
First, the applicant must send the general application for authorisation to the Water Management Authority with the first part of the application form concerning the extraction of groundwater with a new borehole/well (reference F-AUT-FC-1) together with the following documents:
- the documents stated on the application for general authorisation (cadastral map, topographic map, etc);
- a geological map indicating the borehole(s);
- the drilling depths of all boreholes indicated on a schematic geological map;
- the equipment foreseen for the exploration drilling;
- the planning of the works.
The first authorisation enables applicants to carry out exploration drilling and pump tests in order to determine the possible water quantity that can be drawn.
It is only after the applicant has received the drilling and pump results that he must send the second part of the application form concerning the extraction of groundwater with a new borehole/well (reference F-AUT-FC-1) together with the following documents:
- a planning of the works;
- a detailed map of the geological layers impacted by the borehole with the indication of:
- the groundwater volume used;
- the groundwater resting level;
- the groundwater level during pumping;
- the drilling equipment(s);
- pump test results;
- water quality test results (if requested during step 1 of the application);
- technical documentation or a map which highlights that the installation is disconnected from the public drinking water network of the commune (only for private drilling).
Applicants may only start the extraction after they receive the definitive permit from the Water Management Authority.
The processing and verification deadlines for the applications as well as the number of copies of the application to be sent are the same as for the general application procedure.
Permit and control procedures
The permit primarily sets out the conditions under which any works, activities and operations should be executed, in addition to the validity period of the permit.
It also specifies the procedure and frequency of controls to ensure the conditions of the permit are respected and it may be withdrawn if they are not.
Officers of the Luxembourg police and certified agents of the Water Management Authority and the Customs and Excise Agency (Administration des douanes et accises) may carry out on-site controls and report offenders in the event of violation.
The permit is rendered null and void if the authorised installations, constructions, works or activities:
- have not been commenced, completed or put into service within 2 years;
- have remained inactive for 2 years running;
- have been destroyed or put out of use due to an accident;
- have been moved or subject to a modification or extension.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
Unit for Permits and Subsidies / Operating Permits Department1, avenue du Rock'n'Roll
Phone : (+352) 40 56 56 - 108.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 17.00
Transport and Trade of Waste1, avenue du Rock'n'Roll
Phone : (+352) 40 56 56 310Fax : (+352) 49 62 5608.30 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 17.00
Authorisations and Environmental Management Department1, avenue du Rock'n'Roll
L - 4361 Esch-sur.Alzette
Phone : (+352) 40 56 56 600Fax : (+352) 40 56 56 696
EMAS / European Ecolabel Service1, avenue du Rock'n'Roll
Grand-duché de Luxembourg
Phone : (+352) 40 56 56 - 519
Environment Agency - Subsidies and Financial Aid1, avenue du Rock'n'Roll
L - 4361 Esch-sur-Alzette
Phone : (+352) 40 56 56-444