The preservation and control of water quantities, promotion of sustainable use of water and long-term protection of available water resources and their
quality are the core objectives of water management. In order to ensure the rational use of water resources, the legislation specifies that for each
special use of water (public water or marine asset or alluvium) a water right must be obtained, which is subject to payment; the fee for water is paid
according to actual consumption.
The permit granting the water right, mainly to all non-return forms of water consumption (watering, irrigation, snowmaking, drinking water supply, certain
types of water use for technological purposes, filling swimming pools, beverage production), also defines the maximum annual withdrawal of water; with
regard to return forms of water consumption (hydroelectric power plants, heat production, aquaculture, mills and sawmills, natural bathing sites, ports,
offshore platforms, etc.), the permit mainly defines the envisaged or installed current withdrawal capacity (l / s) or water area or aquatorium (in m2).
Water rights are also required for the removal of sediment.
The highest number of permits granting water rights relates to the use of water for the consumer’s own drinking water supply (more than 20,000) and for
other uses (11,000), mainly for watering gardens; the total maximum allowable water withdrawal for both categories is less than one per cent of all water
rights conferred. The maximum quantity of water guaranteed for use for technological purposes amounts to over 1,100 million m3; however, a large
proportion of this water is used for cooling; it is abstracted from surface watercourses – i.e. return water, and therefore is returned to a watercourse. A
significant proportion – one third of the quantity or 565 million m3 of water per year (by 2038 water permits) – was approved for the provision
of drinking water as a service of general economic interest. Regarding the water rights granted, as much as 93% of water is intended for water supplies
from springs, boreholes and wells, hence from groundwater.
15.07 million m3 in annually intended for irrigating agricultural and other land.
Among the licences granting water rights, which do not define the withdrawal, the highest number were for ports, berths and offshore platforms (1600),
marine aquaculture (84) and natural bathing sites (440).