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Responsible for the service Regional State Administrative Agency

Decision on a right of use in accordance with the Finnish Water Act

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

A right to use the project area is required in order to gain a water permit. If the area is not owned by the person in charge of the project, the applicant must have a right to use the area. This applies to, for example, placing a pier, damn or pipe to someone else's area, using a built structure that is owned by someone else, submerging the land area of another person under water or even purchasing the area in question. These area rights are not required for an environmental permit, with the exception of placing a sewer pipe to someone else's land or water area.

The right of use is usually applied for in conjunction with a water permit application. It is possible to apply for only the right of use in some exceptional situations. The Regional State Administrative Agency can also separately process the following right-of-use applications:

  • abstraction of surface water from someone else’s water area (Water Act 4:3)
  • abstraction of groundwater in someone else’s area (Water Act 4:4)
  • granting a right of use to replace a lost right of use (Water Act 17:8)
  • circumstances defined in the former legislation that are mentioned in the entry-into-force provisions of the Water Act (19:18–19)

The owners of the area in question on the right-of-use application will be notified by a letter, and they will be reserved an opportunity to lodge an objection to the application. The applicant will be reserved an opportunity to provide clarification in response to the objections made. The Regional State Administrative Agency is responsible for notifying the keeper of the Land Information System about any significant right-of-use decisions that have gained legal force.

Do the following

Apply for a right of use with its proposal for compensation in conjunction with a water permit application. However, an application for a right to place a sewer pipe should be applied for in conjunction with an environmental permit application.

Prepare and submit a separate right-of-use application with its proposal for compensation electronically to the Regional State Administrative Agency. In addition to the basic details referred to in the government decree on the management of water resources (1560/2011), the right-of-use application should also include maps in accordance with section 15 of the decree and other clarifications regarding the right-of-use areas.

If the application concerns buildings, you should also attach the details outlined in section 15 of the decree.

To whom and on what terms

The prerequisites to grant a right of use are defined in the Water Act.

The conditions and criteria are listed in chapter 4, section 3–4, chapter 17, section 8 and chapter 19, sections 18–19 of the Water Act.

A fee is charged for the service.

The Regional State Administrative Agency will collect a fee for the processing of the application from the applicant. Fees are determined by the Government’s act on the Regional State Administrative Agency’s fees in 2019 and 2020. The collected fee is the same for both positive and negative decisions.

Basic information

The service is provided byRegional State Administrative Agency
Responsible for the serviceRegional State Administrative Agency
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Regional State Administrative Agency
Updated: 12/20/2019