There can be even 1 million wells or borehole in Hungary with an unclarified status that had been built without a permit in the last decades. As water becomes an even more valuable resource, countries should represent a responsible approach in their water management. This is why the Hungarian Government amended the law on water management by establishing a moratorium until the end of 2018, during which period well and borehole owners can obtain a permit from the competent authority without being fined. This exemption applies only to water sources that were set up before 1 January 2018.
The owners should start the proceeding by submitting a request to the competent notary of the municipality. In order to obtain the permit, technical documentation should be made which contains the technical specifications of the well, the drilling method, materials used for the well, etc. A water sample from the well must be analysed by the competent medical authority if the well is used for drinking purposes.
If there is no ongoing procedure for obtaining the permission initiated by the end of 2018, the owner can be fined up to HUF 300,000. The costs of obtaining the permit is usually approx. HUF 50-100,000.
By Gabriella Galik, Partner, KCG Partners Law Firm