Flood Risk & Watercourse Consents

Ordinary Watercourse Land Drainage


As of 6th April 2012, the powers of ordinary watercourse consent were transferred from the Environment Agency to the Isle of Wight Council. This means that any works (either temporary or permanent), that may alter or impact the flow or storage of water within an ordinary watercourse will require consent from the council prior to any work being carried out.

The Isle of Wight Council is now required to:

  • Investigate all significant flooding incidents, please click here (PDF, 204KB, 4 pages) for more details.
  • Issue consents on works that affect the flows of ordinary watercourses.

The lead local flood authority will take a risk based and proportionate approach to enforcement under the Land Drainage Act 1991.

The council will use impact criteria to determine if enforcement should be investigated, please click here (PDF, 192KB, 1 page) for more details.

The council has a Flood and Water Management Enforcement Protocol which can be viewed by clicking here (PDF, 213KB, 5 pages).

Ordinary Watercourses

An ordinary watercourse as defined by the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 is any watercourse that does not form part of a main river. This includes all streams, ditches, drains, culverts, dikes, ponds, sluices, sewers (other than public sewers) and passages through which water flows. These do not necessarily have to be holding water at all times.

If the watercourse is part of a main river, then you will need to apply for consent from the Environment Agency. To identify whether your watercourse is part of a main river, please refer to the Environment Agency’s website for more information.

Additional Information

Related links:

Environment Agency Main Rivers Map

Land Drainage Act 1991

Flood and Water Management Act 2010