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Kamloops and Vernon water districts information book

  • GR-4289
  • Series
  • 1920-1925

This series consists of one informational binder related to various irrigation districts in the Kelowna water district and the Vernon water district from approximately 1920-1925. Records include financial records such as expenditures and payment schedules into conservation funds; information on irrigation construction and maintenance projects; proclamations; maps of irrigation districts; and general information about the district.

Records relate to the following irrigation districts: Black Mountain, Ericson, Grand Forks, Glenmore, Heffley, Kaledon, Malcolm Horie, Naramata, Oyama, Peachland, Penticton, Robson, Rutland, Scotty Creek, Southeast Kelowna, Vernon, Vinsulla, and Westbank.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Records relating to water works and water power projects

  • GR-1236
  • Series
  • 1915-1953

This series contains records relating to water works and water power projects. The records consist of International Joint Committee hearings, proceedings before the Comptroller of Water Rights, hearings on the Buttle Lake project before a special committee of the B.C. Legislative Assembly, applications, submissions and briefs, engineering data, technical reports, and specifications. Includes materials pertaining to the Kootenay River reclamation projects of the West Kootenay Power and Light Company, 1929-1950; the Columbia River reclamation project at Golden and Windermere, 1913-1915; the Powell River Company's project at Lois River, 1930; the B.C. Electric Railway Company development at Jordan River, 1929; the Burrard Power Company projects at Stave River and Alouette Lake, 1924; the B.C. Power Commission development of Buttle Lake on Vancouver Island, 1951-1953; and miscellaneous other projects.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water volume runoff forecasting files

  • GR-4241
  • Series
  • 1919-1983

This series consists of water volume runoff forecasting files created by the Water Rights Branch and its successor, the Water Management Branch. Data in the files on water flow and water volume was collected from 1919-1983, but the majority of the records were created from around 1936-1977. Records relate to forecasting river flows and water levels during floods or times of drought. They cover major rivers, reservoirs and lakes from around the province. Records include reports, studies, data, charts, histograms, working notes, and information on the equations and procedures used to create forecasts.

The records are primarily arranged by file code, which correspondence to a particular geographical location and/or study. Records without file codes are arranged alphabetically by the name of the body of water.

These records can be scheduled under Environment ORCS 35250-70.

British Columbia. Water Management Branch

Report to the Minister of Finance by the Civil and Hydraulic Engineer

  • GR-1023
  • Series
  • 1916

Series consists of a report to the Minister of Finance of the Province of British Columbia on the Physical and Financial conditions of irrigation projects in the Vernon and Kelowna Districts, created by A.R. Mackenzie, Civil and Hydraulic Engineer. 2 parts.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water Rights records

  • GR-1017
  • Series
  • 1858-1974

Registers of water record and water licence grants and applications; index of water reserves, 1908-1929; list of localities operating hydro-electric plants, 1918; alphabetical index of creek surveys, 1910-1911, measuring stream flows.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water Rights Branch records

  • GR-1006
  • Series
  • 1889-1979

This series contains records from the Water Rights Branch. Types of records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches, miscellaneous papers and notes, legal opinions, memoranda of agreement, regulations, etc. relating to water rights, the evolution of water resource administration, and the history of the Water Rights Branch. Includes drafts and notes for a history of the branch prepared in 1979; various reports re irrigation; Indian Reserve water rights, the Railway Belt, and hydro-electric power. Printed material transferred to the Library Division.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water Rights Branch operational records

  • GR-0884
  • Series
  • 1901-1967

This series consists of records of the Water Rights Branch. Records include government publications, reports, memoranda, correspondence, statutes, regulations, indexes and maps pertaining to water rights, irrigation projects, water reserves, and water power developments, 1901-1967. Includes unpublished reports on the history of irrigation, water power resources policy, public utility regulation, and the Water Rights Branch, the Water Board, and the BC Conservation Fund.

Box 1-2 contains general files.

Box 3 contains the Provincial Water Power Index, ca. 1925-1933. Files are arranged alphabetically by Water District, with Water Rights Branch index numbers, Commission of Conservation index numbers, and Dominion Lands Branch index numbers. Also includes Water District maps showing locations of power site developments, water reserves, applications, and horsepower outputs.

Box 4 contains the Water Reserves Notices Index, 1901-1963. Files are arranged alphabetically by Water District, redone and rechecked February 13, 1963.

Box 5 contains Acts and regulations.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water rights reference maps

  • CM/S3
  • Series
  • 1927-1978 (predominant 1952-1978)

The series consists of maps created by the Water Rights Branch between 1927 and 1978. The records provided the Water Rights Branch with a medium-to-large scale overview of its administrative areas, displaying both water rights information and detailed land status information produced by other natural resource agencies in government.

The series contains standard reference base maps (maps produced by the Department of Lands and successors in order to document the current status of Crown Lands title) upon which has been added a broad array of specific water rights administrative information. The base and added map information includes administrative boundaries: most notably, those of water districts and precincts, but also those of waterworks, recreation, and improvement districts, and of ecological, water, and other reserves. Depicted as well are flood areas (often with flooding contours), river improvement areas, and various forest, mine works, and other areas. In addition to the base cadastral information (such as surveyed lot boundaries and numbers) the maps also display conditional and final water licence numbers, correspondence file numbers, approval numbers, and numbers identifying gazette notices and orders-in-council.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water rights plans

  • CM/S5-7
  • Series
  • 1892-1981

The series consists of records created by the Water Rights Branch, its predecessor, the Dept. of Lands and Works and its successor, the Water Management Branch. Throughout its existence, the Water Rights Branch (WRB) acquired and created a large central set of plans, maps, and engineering drawings which was assigned a single set of sequential water rights plan numbers. Over time, the original plan series was divided into separate sub-series for the use of particular operational units.

The water rights plans series documents a broad range of WRB activities. It includes: plans and engineering drawings submitted to the WRB by individuals, corporations, and municipalities as part of their applications for water licences or for approval of works; survey plans and maps prepared by WRB field engineers and regional engineers in support of licensing activities, irrigation studies, water power investigations and dam inspections; general reference maps used by WRB staff; and a variety of charts, graphs, and other items used for WRB functions such as stream measurement and precipitation monitoring. Taken as a whole, this series constitutes a wealth of often highly detailed cartographic information on regions and communities throughout British Columbia, information which in many cases is not available elsewhere.

Of particular interest are early large-scale maps and plans which provide extensive topographic information and vegetation notes for many areas of B.C. well before those areas were covered by standard topographic maps, including areas which were later flooded due to dam construction. As well, some of the early plans of towns and of agricultural, commercial, and industrial sites include such detailed cultural and cadastral information as the location and identity of buildings and the names of property owners affected by proposed water projects. The series also contains invaluable documentation of specific major hydro-electric, irrigation, and waterworks projects in the form of site plans and engineering (structural) drawings. The series' value is enhanced by the fact that many of the items contain numbers which can be used to link the items with related records such as water records, conditional and final licences; correspondence files, water rights and reference maps, field notes, and a variety of reports.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water rights maps : second series

  • CM/S4
  • Series
  • [ca. 1920-1978]

This series of large scale maps was created by the Water Rights Branch pursuant to successive versions of the Water Act and the Water Act Amendment Act. The primary function of the sheets was to document the location of water rights licences. They therefore serve as a geographic index for the licencing function and also provide useful links to other maps and plans produced or used by the Branch.

The sheets in this series replaced those in the first series of Water Rights Maps, 1911-1924 (CM/B1575) and were themselves replaced at the Water Management Branch by a third series of larger-scale mylar maps. Accordingly, the sheets are often annotated with a "D" for "deletion," while the newer maps are sometimes referred to as the "conversions." Additional second series sheets remain at the Water Management Branch.

The maps depict the basic planimetry (creeks, rivers and lakes) within the boundaries of the various water districts and precincts, and record the location and numbers of conditional and final licences, as well as the numbers of both correspondence files pertaining to licences and of approvals of works. Other types of boundaries are also sometimes depicted such as those of local waterworks or improvement districts. Some of the sheets also contain tables which specify creek names, intake codes, and various file, map, or licence numbers identifying the location and nature of water diversions. Finally, the individual sheets frequently provide the numbers of registered plans, large-scale reference maps, and water rights maps or plans containing related information.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water rights maps : first series

  • CM/B1575
  • Series
  • 1911-1924

The series consists of maps prepared pursuant to the Water Act Amendment Act, 1913. They shows location of water rights and licenses and include tabulation sheets relating to decisions of the Board of Investigation. The maps also show property boundaries.

The maps are arranged by Water district volume and sheet number.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Records regarding the construction of Coquitlam Dam

  • GR-3964
  • Series
  • 1909-1916

This series consists of records related to the construction of a new dam at Coquitlam Lake Dam by Vancouver Power Co. Ltd., 1909-1916. Records cover the study and survey of Coquitlam Lake, and attaining approvals for plans, construction, and water use for producing electricity and as a municipal water supply. Records include correspondence, engineering reports and environmental reports.

At the time of construction, Coquitlam Lake was part of the Railway Belt and under the jurisdiction of the dominion government. All records are copies from Canadian Department of the Interior file 656216 nos. 3, 4, 5. The metal pin holding the file together was removed for conservation purposes and the records placed in archival folders. The copied file was likely provided to the Provincial Water Rights Branch for reference around the end of the file in 1913. There are also several loose pages of original records from the BC Comptroller of Water Rights, labelled with file number 8987 dating from 1913 to 1916.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Permits and authorizations

  • GR-1018
  • Series
  • 1912-1955

Contains permits and authorizations to make surveys necessary for the planning and construction of water works pursuant to the Water Act, 1909 and the Water Act, 1914. Arranged numerically. Includes permit number, name of applicant, description of proposed works, fees, and file references. vol. 1, no. 1-250, 1912-1913; vol. 2, no. 251-500, 1913-1914; vol. 3, no. 501-1000, 1914-1930; vol. 4, no. 1001-1075, 1930-1955.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Omineca District water rights records

  • GR-0843
  • Series
  • 1898-1905; 1909-1917

This series consists of three volumes of records of the Water Commissioner, Omineca District, relating to water rights. Volume 1 is a record of Water Grants pursuant to the Water Clauses Consolidation Act (1897), 1898-1905, including determinations by the Board of Investigation, 1917. Volume 2 is a record of Water Grant pursuant to the Water Clauses Consolidation Act (1897), 1909-1917, including determinations by the Board of Investigation, 1917. Volume 3 is Water Record Book No. 1, from 24 June 1898, recorded at the Gold Commissioner's office, Omineca District, including correspondence relating to water rights claims, 1915 and 1917.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water rights records

  • GR-0835
  • Series
  • 1902-1925

This series consists of letters inward to the Chief Commissioner of Lands, the Deputy Commissioner of Lands and the Minister of Lands regarding water rights generally, 1902-1912. These letters were transferred to Water Rights Branch files from Lands files and do not appear on the microfilm of Lands letters inward. Letters are arranged chronologically.

The series also includes a page regarding the disposition of Indian water rights by Board of Investigation from 1921-1925.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Surveyor's notebooks

  • GR-3719
  • Series
  • 1910-1963

The series consists primarily of small, hard-cover notebooks used for recording data in the field during hydrographic survey projects. It also consists of envelopes containing various textual and cartographic records. The purpose of the records was to document information recorded by Water Management Branch field surveyors when they completed hydrographic surveys. Information was used as reference material in preparation of topographical maps. Also recorded was information relating to projects completed by the Water Branch (such as irrigation projects). Also recorded was information of the time regarding claims and claimants to water rights. The records may have a high degree of long-range research value.

Many of the field books contain data for so many different geographic locations, it was impossible to list or reflect each location in the file titles.

Relevant information is to be found in many Dept. of Lands, Water Rights Branch annual reports, where the background and execution of the hydrographic surveys around the province are discussed. See for example the Sessional Papers of British Columbia, Session 1913, pgs. D 107 to D 222.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Working papers and other material

  • GR-1284
  • Series
  • 1951-1954

This series contains working papers, drafts and photographs, 1951-1954, used in the preparation of the illustrated "Water Powers, British Columbia, Canada", 1954 edition which was published by the Department of Lands and Forests, Water Rights Branch, Victoria.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Okanagan Valley irrigation reports

  • GR-0316
  • Series
  • 1926-1927

This series consists of 16 volumes of reports on irrigation districts in the Okanagan valley from1926 and 1927. Volumes include one summary report for the Okanagan and two copies each of detailed reports on the following irrigation districts: Black Mountain, Glenmore, Naramata, Peachland, South East Kelowna, Vernon, and Westbank. The reports include a history of the project, and statistical information. There is also an appendix to the Scotty Creek irrigation district report included in the series.

Volumes 2-8 are signed by Major J.C. Macdonald, Comptroller of Water Rights and are illustrated with b&w photographs and have maps. The duplicate volumes 9-15 contain holographic alterations and are initialed by J.W. Clark, Inspector, Water Rights Branch.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Notebooks, artesian well investigation, Fraser River Flats

  • GR-0850
  • Series
  • 1914

This series consists of two notebooks containing information collected during artesian well investigation, Fraser River Flats. See the Water Rights Branch, interim report for 1914 (BC Sessional Papers 1915, v.1, p. H-18) for report.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Orders-in-council relating to water works and water power projects

  • GR-0839
  • Series
  • 1892-1913

This series consists of an index and list of orders-in-council relating to water works and water power projects pursuant to the Rivers and Streams Act, 1890, the Water Clauses Consolidation Act, 1897, and the Water Act, 1909. Includes alphabetical index of companies and cities granted certificates of approval and chronological lists.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Comptroller of Water Rights correspondence

  • GR-0837
  • Series
  • 1918

This series consists of letterbook copies of correspondence outward of the Comptroller of Water Rights regarding water license fees and water applications, etc. Includes nominal index.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Chief Hydrographer correspondence

  • GR-0836
  • Series
  • 1911-1912

This series consists of letterbook copies of correspondence outward from the Chief Hydrographer regarding water surveys, irrigation projects, dams, etc. Includes nominal index.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Index of water resources recordings

  • GR-0779
  • Series
  • 1911-1962

This series consists of an index of water resources recordings from the Water Rights Branch, 1911-1962. Contains graphic representation of water discharge by drainage basin.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Minute book of the Board of Investigation

  • GR-0775
  • Series
  • 1914-1926

This series consists of a minute book of the Board of Investigation pursuant to the Water Act, 1914-1926.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Improvement district letters patent and bylaw register files

  • GR-3978
  • Series
  • 1922 - 2011

The series consists of improvement district letters patent and bylaw register files, 1922-2011. These records document the creation and dissolution of improvement districts, the approval and registration of their bylaws, and provincial government advice and support. Letters patent are the legal instruments for incorporating improvement districts in BC. They establish the name, boundary, services, voting procedures, and other fundamental aspects of each improvement district. Supplementary letters patent cover changes to improvement district boundaries, services, or the number of trustees. Improvement districts were initially created under the Water Act (SBC 1914, c. 81) to provide water and irrigation services to their residents. From 1914 to 1979, administrative responsibility for most improvement districts resided with the Office of the Comptroller of Water Rights (Water Rights Branch). In 1956, responsibility for improvement districts that provided fire protection came under the Dept. of Municipal Affairs, 1934-1976. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs (1978-1986) assumed administrative responsibility for all improvement districts in 1979 with the enactment of the Municipal Act (RSBC 1979, c. 290). This administrative responsibility continues under the Local Government Act (RSBC 2015, c. 1) with the following ministries: Municipal Affairs and Transit, 1986; Municipal Affairs, 1986-1988; Municipal Affairs, Recreation, and Culture, 1988-1991; Municipal Affairs, Recreation, and Housing, 1991-1993; Municipal Affairs, 1993-1996; Municipal Affairs and Housing,1996-1998; Municipal Affairs, 1998-2001; Community, Aboriginal, and Women’s Services, 2001-2005; Community Services, 2005-2008; and Community Development, 2008-2009. Regional districts, introduced in 1965, provide many of the services once provided by improvement districts so new improvement districts will not likely be created. All improvement district bylaws are filed with the ministry and some require registration with the Inspector of Municipalities before taking effect. Others do not require registration, taking effect upon adoption by the trustees of the improvement district.

The records include correspondence, indexes, letters patent and supplementary letters patent, orders in council, approval certificates, and maps. They are arranged alphabetically by improvement district name; some of the records also contain an improvement district number and code. The records were classified under 52000-40 (improvement district letters patent files) of the Local Government Services ORCS, 2006 (schedule 126379).

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Records of the Government office in Fairview, B.C.

  • GR-1675
  • Series
  • 1897-1922

This series contains water notices for a licence to take and use water, Similkameen district, 4 vols. Records of the government office in Fairview. B.C. Related to GR-0214 and GR-1674.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water Rights Board files

  • GR-1442
  • Series
  • 1909-1935

This series includes records of the Water Rights Board.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Water rights registers of correspondence inward

  • GR-3082
  • Series
  • 1912-1953

This series contains a nominal index of incoming letters relating to water rights management. Use in conjunction with GR-1088, GR-1440, GR-1441, GR-1443.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

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