Series CM/S3 - Water rights reference maps

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Water rights reference maps

General material designation

  • cartographic material

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Level of description

Series

Reference code

CM/S3

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1927-1978 (predominant 1952 - 1978) (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Physical description area

Physical description

274 sheets ; sizes and scales differ; includes base maps on linen, paper, and mylar, with pencil and coloured ink annotations added by hand.

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Archival description area

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

(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

(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).

Custodial history

Scope and content

Scope and Content: This series 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 consists of 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. Finally, the reference maps contain numerous references to other map and plan sheets. Related sheets of particular interest include those in the first and second series of the Water Rights Maps (CM/B1575 and CM/S4) and those in the Water Rights Plans Series (CM/S5- S7). Arrangement: The maps are arranged according to the National Topographic Series (NTS) map indexing system. A basic NTS map index, annotated to depict the coverage of the series, is provided at the end of the accompanying series list. A more detailed NTS index is on display in the BC ARCHIVES Map Reference area.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The series was received by BC ARCHIVES in 1981. Researchers should note, however, that sheets were not received for large areas of central and northeastern B.C.

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