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Land Drainage Responsibilities

Main rivers

Main rivers are usually larger streams and rivers. However, they do include some smaller watercourses.

Natural Resources Wales is responsible for main rivers, and has a number of powers to manage them.

Ordinary watercourses 

An ordinary watercourse is a river, stream, ditch, drain, cut, dyke, sluice and passage through which water flows and which does not form part of a main river.

Powys County Council is the local land drainage authority and has a number of powers under the Land Drainage Act 1991. 

See also our page about Ordinary Watercourses: Applying for consent for works.

Riparian ownership

If you have an ordinary watercourse or a main river running through your land or along the boundary of your property you are likely to be the riparian owner, unless the watercourse is known to be owned by someone else.

Further information on the rights and responsibilities of a riparian owner can be found in the Environment Agency's booklet 'Living on the Edge".


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