Series CM/S5-7 - Water rights plans

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Water rights plans

General material designation

  • cartographic material

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Series

Reference code

CM/S5-7

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1892-1981 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Physical description area

Physical description

6,173 sheets ; sizes and scales differ; includes original manuscripts (pencil and ink on linen, paper, or mylar), blueprints, diazo prints, and lithographs.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1871-1908)

Biographical history

The Dept. of Lands and Works was established in 1871 under the Constitution Act (SBC 1871, c. 147). Prior to that, the origins of the department were in the offices of the Surveyor General for the Colony of Vancouver Island (1859-1866) and the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Surveyor General for the Colony of British Columbia (1859-1871). The mandate of the department was to grant permission for the pre-emption of unoccupied, unsurveyed, and unreserved Crown lands, issue Crown grants and grant leases of Crown lands, oversee all survey and map functions, and construct and repair roads, bridges and buildings for public services. It was also responsible for promoting immigration. The Dept. of Lands and Works was headed by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Surveyor General. By 1899, the department was organized into two branches: Lands Branch and Works Branch. In 1908 the Dept. of Lands and Works was disestablished with an amendment to the Constitution Act (SBC 1908, c. 12). Its functions were assigned to two new departments: the Dept. of Lands (SBC 1908, c. 31) and the Dept. of Public Works (SBC 1908, c. 41).

Name of creator

(1908-1945)

Biographical history

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 1911, the Timber Department, including Timber Inspectors, forest protection services and log scaling operations, was transferred from the Dept. of Public Works to the Dept. of Lands. In 1912, the management of timber resources was formally added to the department’s responsibilities with the enactment of the Forest Act (SBC 1912, c. 17). To accommodate these new responsibilities, the Forest Branch, under the Chief Forester, was created in the Dept. of Lands. In 1945, the Dept. of Lands was renamed the Dept. of Lands and Forests (Department of Lands Act Amendment Act, SBC 1945, c. 45).

Name of creator

(1945-1962)

Biographical history

The Dept. of Lands and Forests was established in 1945 as the successor agency to the Dept of Lands. The structure and organization of the Dept. of Lands and Forests was based on that of the Dept. of Lands. 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 1911, the Timber Department, including Timber Inspectors, forest protection services and log scaling operations, was transferred from the Dept. of Public Works to the Dept. of Lands. In 1912, the management of timber resources was formally added to the department’s responsibilities with the enactment of the Forest Act (SBC 1912, c. 17). To accommodate these new responsibilities, the Forest Branch, under the Chief Forester, was created in the Dept. of Lands. In 1945, the Dept. of Lands was renamed the Dept. of Lands and Forests (Department of Lands Act Amendment Act, SBC 1945, c. 45). At this time, the department was reorganized into two branches, the Lands Service and the Forests Service. In 1962, the Dept. of Lands and Forests was renamed the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources (Department of Lands and Forests Act Amendment Act, SBC 1962, c. 22). At this time, the department was reorganized into three branches, the B.C. Lands Service, the B.C. Forest Service, and the B.C. Water Resources Service.

Name of creator

(1962-1975)

Biographical history

The Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources was established in 1962 as the successor agency to the Dept of Lands and Forests. Its origins go back to the establishment of the Dept. of Lands. 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 1911, the Timber Department, including Timber Inspectors, forest protection services and log scaling operations, was transferred from the Dept. of Public Works to the Dept. of Lands. In 1912, the management of timber resources was formally added to the department’s responsibilities with the enactment of the Forest Act (SBC 1912, c. 17). To accommodate these new responsibilities, the Forest Branch, under the Chief Forester, was created in the Dept. of Lands. In 1945, the Dept. of Lands was renamed the Dept. of Lands and Forests (Department of Lands Act Amendment Act, SBC 1945, c. 45). At this time, the department was reorganized into two branches, the Lands Service and the Forests Service. In 1962, the Dept. of Lands and Forests was renamed the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources (Department of Lands and Forests Act Amendment Act, SBC 1962, c. 22). At this time, the department was reorganized into three branches, the B.C. Lands Service, the B.C. Forest Service, and the B.C. Water Resources Service. On December 23, 1975, the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources ceased to exist. The government established two new agencies, the Dept. of Forests and the Dept. of Environment, to replace it (OIC 3838/75). All activities associated with the forestry function were transferred to the Dept. of Forests (OIC 3849/75, 3868/75). With one minor exception, the remaining functions of the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources were transferred to the Dept. of Environment (OIC 3843/75, 3844/75, 3846/75, 3852/75). In 1976, these organizational changes were reiterated in legislation (SBC 1976, c. 18).

Name of creator

(1975-1976)

Biographical history

The Dept. of Environment was established in 1975 by an order in council (OIC 3838/75). The original functions of the Dept. of Environment were transferred from the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, whose functions had been split between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests. The department was responsible for the management and protection of land, air and water resources including Crown lands (except for matters under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Forests), water rights and pollution control. The department was divided into three branches: land and water management, environmental and engineering services, and environmental protection. Later in 1976, the Dept. of Environment was renamed the Ministry of the Environment (OIC: 3199/76).

Name of creator

(1976-1978)

Biographical history

The Ministry of Environment was established in 1976, as the successor to the Dept. of Environment (OIC: 3199/76). Its original organizational structure was based on that of the Dept. of Environment which was created in 1975. The original functions of the Dept. of Environment were transferred from the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, whose functions had been split between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests. The department was responsible for the management and protection of land, air and water resources including Crown lands (except for matters under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Forests), water rights and pollution control. The department was divided into three branches: land and water management, environmental and engineering services, and environmental protection. In 1978, a major government reorganization transferred functions relating to lands and parks from the Ministry of the Environment to the newly established Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing. At the same time, the functions of marine resources, fish and wildlife were acquired from the disestablished Ministry of Recreation and Conservation. Environmental health engineering were also acquired from the reorganized Ministry of Health and emergency programming from the reorganized Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry. The reorganized Ministry of the Environment was divided into four branches: Land and Water Management, Environmental and Engineering Services, Environmental Protection, and Environment and Land Use Secretariat. In 1979 the name was renamed as the Ministry of Environment by removing the "the" from the name (OIC 3018/78, see also RSBC 1979, c. 271).

Name of creator

(1978-1986)

Biographical history

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs was established in 1978 as the successor to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (OIC 3018/78). The ministry was responsible for administration, review and processing of by-laws relative to municipalities, regional districts, and improvement districts; evaluation of administrative practices and procedures, including financial management, of local governments; special programs respecting building regulations; and regional planning processes for municipalities and regional districts. Transit Services Division provided transit management services and administered the Transit Services Demand and Supply Programs. It also administered the Islands Trust. Following a government-wide restructuring in August 1986, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs became known as the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Transit (OIC 1499/86).

Name of creator

(1909-1979)

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).

Name of creator

(1979-1986)

Biographical history

The Ministry of Environment was established in 1975, under its first name Dept. of Environment, by an order in council (OIC 3838/75). The original functions of the Dept. of Environment were transferred from the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, whose functions had been split between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests. The department was responsible for the management and protection of land, air and water resources including Crown lands (except for matters under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Forests), water rights and pollution control. The department was divided into three branches: land and water management, environmental and engineering services, and environmental protection. Later in 1976, the Dept. of Environment was renamed the Ministry of the Environment (OIC: 3199/76). In 1978, a major government reorganization transferred functions relating to lands and parks from the Ministry of the Environment to the newly established Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing. At the same time, the functions of marine resources, fish and wildlife were transferred from the disestablished Ministry of Recreation and Conservation. Environmental health engineering was transferred from the reorganized Ministry of Health and emergency programming from the reorganized Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry. The reorganized Ministry of the Environment was divided into four branches: Land and Water Management, Environmental and Engineering Services, Environmental Protection, and Environment and Land Use Secretariat. In 1979 the name was revised as the Ministry of Environment, removing “the” (OIC 3018/78, see also RSBC 1979, c. 271). In 1986, the parks function from the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, was merged with the Ministry of Environment. As a result of this addition to its functions, the Ministry of Environment became known as the Ministry of Environment and Parks (OIC 1495/86). In 1988, the park function was removed and transferred to the newly established Ministry of Parks. As a result, the Ministry of Environment and Parks was renamed the Ministry of Environment. In 1991, the Ministry of Environment was disestablished. Its functions were then merged with the functions of the Ministry of Lands and Parks to create a new ministry called the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name changed in 1979 from Water Rights Branch.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Introduction: 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 topics documented in the series and in each sub- series are discussed in the scope and contents notes below. The plans are listed in plan number and water rights district order in the series list which follows this overview. The structure and contents of this list are explained in the arrangement section below. Scope and Content: 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. And of course, the series 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. The water rights plans received by BC ARCHIVES consist of three main sub- series that have been separated from the plans held at the Water Management Branch. To a large extent the topics and document types described above are found in all of the sub- series but each sub- series does exhibit certain characteristics which reflect its provenance. Arrangement: Although the Water Rights Plans consist of three distinct sub- series, a single comprehensive list of the items has been compiled for the convenience of researchers. In part one of this series list, the item descriptions are arranged sequentially according to the water rights plan numbers. In part two, the list is sorted geographically, according to the water rights districts in existence at the time the various items were filed. 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. The dates given in the list are the dates of filing and the descriptions presented are close (but not exact) transcriptions of the descriptions in the registers. The registers also often contain information not transcribed into in the BC ARCHIVES list such as the plan origins, creator names, material types, and numbers identifying related records. The creator names, in particular, can sometimes be used to link the plans with other records produced by the same creator such as the early regional engineers' reports published in the annual reports of the WRB. Since the water rights plan numbers were assigned sequentially, part one of the BC ARCHIVES series list is in chronological order. However, a single plan number often covers numerous individual items and the date of the items themselves sometimes does not match the date of filing. Similarly, the descriptions usually refer to the items originally filed under a given plan number. In some cases not all of the items pertaining to a number were transferred to BC ARCHIVES and in a few cases it appears that the original items filed under a given number were replaced by later plans pertaining to the same general topic. Therefore, while the list usually provides researchers with a strong indication of the types of items found under a plan number, it is necessary to consult the items themselves, using the call numbers provided in the list, in order to determine the precise nature of their contents. The items are physically arranged in call number order within each of the sub- series. Separate lists of each sub- series can be made available, but the sub- series origin of any particular item in the main list can be readily determined by consulting the item's call number against the chart at the beginning of the list.

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Finding aids

Associated materials

Related cartographic records held by BC ARCHIVES include the Water Rights Reference Maps Series (CM/S3) and the first and second series of the Water Rights Maps (CM/B1575 and CM/S4).

Related materials

Accruals

General note

Notes: In those cases where the plan number or the water rights district was not entered on the plan or in the WRB registers but could be determined from other information, the number or district is flagged with an asterisk. A question mark in the description column of the list indicates a portion of the entry in the original register was not legible. A large number of items, particularly in the second sub- series, did not contain water rights plan numbers. (In many cases, this was probably due to the fact that the activity or project leading to the creation of the item was not completed). Also, some of the items consist of published maps produced by agencies outside of the WRB. These unnumbered plans and non- WRB items are described in part 3. Unnumbered plans which could be linked to a particular water district are also listed in part 2.

General note

The call numbers used within the three sub- series are as follows: (CM/S5) First Sub- Series: CM/B2505, CM/C2665, CM/E169, CM/F14, CM/G7 (CM/S6) Second Sub- Series: CM/B2547, CM/C2667, CM/E170, CM/F15, CM/G9 (CM/S7) Third Sub- Series: CM/B2548, CM/C2668, CM/E171, CM/F16, CM/G8

General note

The Water Rights District names used in the following list are: Alberni New Denver Ashcroft New Westminster Atlin Nicola Barkerville Osoyoos Cariboo Peace River Cranbrook Penticton Fairview Prince George Fernie Prince Rupert Fort Fraser Princeton Golden Quesnel Grand Forks Revelstoke Hazelton Similkameen Kamloops Skeena Kaslo Slocan Liard Vancouver Lillooet Windermere Nanaimo Yale Nelson 1948 First org chart indicates that there were two groups of draughtsmen in the head office: the Chief Draughtsmen and the general draughting room draftsmen and the technical draughstmen working for the Cheif Hydraulic Engineer. The chart indicates a close working relationship between the two groups with a common set of Supervising Draughtsmen. 1949 Chart shows one Chief Draftsman reporting to both the Depeuty Comptroller and the Chief Engineer. 1950 Chart again shows the Chief Draughtsman over a General Draughting Room and now shows a separtate Technical Draughting romm with supervision Draughtsmen and technical draughtsmen. 1956 By 1955 there was a separate Hydraulic Investigations Division (no draughtsmen listed under the Division, but draughtsmen are mentioned in the 1961 chart). 1963 In Dec. 1962 the Water Investigations Branch was created. Had its own chief draughtsman. 1975 - 1980 (1975 Power and Special Projects name first appears as a section name. Section previously called Power and Major Projects Unit). WIB Draughtsmnen were listed as a separate group from 1962 - 1975. WIB becomes part of Water Management Branch in 1979? Jan 1980 tel bk. still lists WIB and WRB as separate branches. WMB appears in the April 1980 bk. 1980 - 1981 (Telephone Books): 1980 WIB Planning and Surveys Division includes Draughting Section with Pete Dixon as the Chief Draughtsman. (There is of course still a Chief Draughtman and a Druaghting Room for the main licensing work in the Administration Section of the WRB.) April, 1981 Dixon is head of Draughting Office within Planning and Surveys Section of the Water Management Branch. There is a Chief Draughtsman and a Draughting Room (R. Duncan) in the Licensing Section. By the Nov., 1981 tel. bk. Dixon is head of the Technical Draughting Section.

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