Series GR-3541 - Golden and Revelstoke water rights maps

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Golden and Revelstoke water rights maps

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  • cartographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1916 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

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Physical description

33 maps

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Biographical history

The Water Rights Branch was established in 1909. Its name was changed to Water Management Branch in 1979.

The Water Rights Branch reported to the following departments and ministries: Dept. of Lands (1909-1945), Dept. of Lands and Forests (1945-1962), Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources (1962-1975), Dept of Environment (1975-1976), Ministry of the Environment (1976-1978) and Ministry of Municipal Affairs (1978-1979).

The Dept. of Lands was established in 1908 (Department of Lands Act, SBC 1908, c. 31). Before 1908 the agencies responsible for the functions of the Dept. of Lands: (1) the Dept. of Lands and Works (Crown lands management, sales, pre-emptions and leases, lands surveying and mapping, timber inspection, forest protection and log scaling), and (2) the Dept. of Mines (water rights in regards to mining operations).

The Dept. of Lands, headed by the Chief Commissioner of Lands, was given responsibility for public lands and water rights, and all matters connected therewith. (SBC 1908, c. 31, s. 5). These responsibilities included: (1) the management of all public lands, as per the Land Act, (RSBC 1897, c. 113); (2) administration of water rights, as per the Water Clauses Consolidation Act, (RSBC 1897, c. 191) [in 1892 by means of the Water Privileges Act (SBC 1892, c. 47), the government had reserved to itself the right to manage all water resources in the province that were unreserved and un-appropriated as of April 23, 1892]; and (3) land settlement programs for returned soldiers.

In 1909, the enactment of the Water Act (SBC 1909, c. 48) resulted in the creation of the Water Rights Branch of the Dept. of Lands, under the management of the Chief Water Commissioner (re-named Comptroller of Water Rights in 1912). This legislation also resulted in the creation of Water Districts under the management of District Engineers, who would be responsible for management in the field of the Branch’s responsibilities.

In 1945, the Dept. of Lands was renamed the Dept. of Lands and Forests (Department of Lands Act Amendment Act, SBC 1945, c. 45).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The records consist of the 33 water rights maps. The maps have been stamped by the Water Rights Branch on December 28, 1916.

The maps are in a large volume that was originally held by the Dominion Lands Office (Golden Sub Agency) of the Canadian Government’s Dept. of the Interior. These maps were likely used by this office as part of the Dept. of Interior’s management of the Railway Belt. This volume was subsequently returned to the Water Rights Branch since they are similar to other water rights maps held by the branch.

The maps are arranged in blocks of numbers that relate to the water district and the water precinct. These numbers, and the water districts are as follows:

2700 to 2823 Golden Water District
7505 to 7655 Revelstoke Water District.

The Golden Water District records include maps from the Spillimacheen Precinct, Golden Precinct, Donald Precinct, and The Revelstoke Water District records include maps from the Arrowhead Precinct, Camborne Precinct, Revelstoke Precinct and Illecillewaet Precinct.

Series includes the following map numbers:


The cover of the volume states that this is a record of the Golden Sub Agency of the Dominion Lands Office of the Canadian Government Dept. of the Interior. It is not clear how this volume may have been used by the Dept. of Interior since each map is stamped by the Water Rights Branch. The Dept. of the Interior was responsible for managing the Railway Belt.

Notes area

Physical condition

The volume and maps have been water damaged.

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from the Water Management unit of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in 2016.


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Restrictions on access

No access restrictions apply.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

For related water rights maps, see BC Archives series CM/S3, CM/S4, CM/S5, CM/S6, CM/S7 and CM/B1575.

Researchers should note that the BC ARCHIVES series list is based primarily on the original Water Rights Branch plan registers (see BC ARCHIVES reel B1949 for a microfilm copy) rather than on the items themselves.

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Accession number 94-9260

Volume stored in container 949260-0010

General note

Map numbers 7530, 7532 and 7533 have been misclassified on the back side of the map as numbers 7630, 7632 and 7633.

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