Water use in England and Wales is considerably higher than in many other developed countries. Water resources are already under pressure from population growth and climate change. To abstract water from a watercourse or aquifer you are required to have a licence. The current system of abstraction licences, which was set up in the 1960s, was not designed to safeguard the environment, to manage competing demands or to facilitate the trading of water. A third of catchments in England and Wales are already estimated to be over-abstracted or have too much abstraction licensed; two-thirds of catchments are closed to new abstraction licences, and 1 in 10 rivers have environmental damage as a result of over-abstraction. This means that it is difficult for new businesses that require water to operate to obtain abstraction licences.