Consultation on the draft National Policy Statement for Water Resources Infrastructure

Closed 31 Jan 2019

Opened 29 Nov 2018


The government has identified an immediate need to increase resilience in the water sector to address pressure on water supplies. This pressure is increasing due to population growth, the impacts of climate change and the need to maintain sufficient water in our watercourses, lakes and wetlands to protect the environment.

The goal set out in: ‘A Green Future’, the government’s 25 year plan to improve the environment, is clean and plentiful water. The government’s vision is a water industry that works for everyone; providing reliable, robust services now and in the future, without compromising the needs of the environment.

To achieve this vision, a twin track approach to securing resilient supplies is required. This approach includes both demand management, for example leakage reduction and increased water efficiency measures and new water supplies, such as reservoirs and water transfers. The government will soon publish a water conservation report to set out actions for managing demand.

The draft National Policy Statement for Water Resources Infrastructure (NPS) sets out the need and government’s policies for the development of nationally significant infrastructure projects relevant to water resources in England. It will help to ensure that where nationally significant water resources infrastructure is needed, it can be delivered in a timely manner to a high standard.

If you would like to keep in contact with us to express interest in this, or any other Defra consultation, please give us your details through the link below

Why your views matter

The responses to the previous consultations in 2017 and in April this year have helped form the content of the draft NPS and in establishing the types and sizes of infrastructure that the NPS will apply to.

We now want your views on whether the draft NPS provides an appropriate and effective framework for the Examining Authority (the Planning Inspectorate) and the Secretary of State to examine and make decisions on development consent applications for nationally significant water resources infrastructure in England. We also want your views on the Assessment of Sustainability and Habitats Regulations Assessments that accompany the NPS.

The consultation documents are available to view and download at the bottom of this page. You will need to refer to them when providing your responses. You can provide your responses via the online survey by clicking the button below. Alternatively you can respond via post or email (contact details are provided in the consultation document below).

If you have any questions on this consultation please email

What happens next

Government is currently considering all comments received as part of this consultation. The draft NPS has also undergone parliamentary scrutiny and government is also considering the recommendations made by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. Government aims to  lay the final NPS in autumn 2019 alongside the summary of responses to this consultation and the government's response to the points raised.


  • Environmental campaigners
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Coastal local authorities
  • National Park Authorities
  • Coastal Management sector
  • Energy sector
  • Industries and professional services
  • Water/water Industry sector
  • Angling Organisations and Trade
  • Water Abstractors
  • Environmental professional services
  • House Building Industry
  • Local Authorities
  • Policy Teams
  • Local Authorities
  • All Defra staff and ALBs
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Member of the General Public
  • Energy suppliers
  • Water suppliers
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies
  • Public Bodies
  • Consultants


  • Natural environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Green infrastructure
  • Ecosystems services
  • Sustainable development
  • National Adaptation Programme
  • Flooding
  • Marine
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • Marine licensing
  • Water quality
  • Air quality
  • Water conservation
  • Bathing waters
  • Local environments
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Water Abstraction
  • House Building and Planning
  • Consultations
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Policy and Delivery