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REPORT of the WATER RESOURCES SERVICE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31 1963 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1964]

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Hon. R. G. Williston, Minister A. F. Paget, Deputy Minister of Water Resources
of the
Printed by A. Sutton, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia
  Victoria, B.C., January 23, 1964.
To Major-General the Honourable George Randolph Pearkes,
V.C., P.C., C.B., D.S.O., M.C.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the Annual Report of the British Columbia Water Resources Service of the Department of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources for the year ended December 31, 1963.
Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources.
 Victoria, B.C., January 23, 1964.
The Honourable R. G. Williston,
Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources,
Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the Annual Report of the British Columbia
Water Resources Service of the Department of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources
for the 12 months ended December 31, 1963.
Deputy Minister of Water Resources.
Organization Chart of the Water Resources Service     8
Introduction by the Deputy Minister of Water Resources     9
History of Water Administration in British Columbia  13
The Water Rights Branch—
Organization Chart of the Water Rights Branch  25
Deputy Comptroller  25
Water Licencing Division  26
District Engineers Division  32
Improvement Districts Division  3 9
Power and Major Licences Division  44
The Water Investigations Branch—
Organization Chart of the Water Investigations Branch  53
Chief Engineer  53
Water Supply and Investigations Division  54
Hydrology Division  65
Ground Water Division  66
Basin Planning and Power Division  68
Water Projects under the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act 70
Southern Okanagan Lands Project  73
Accounting Division  79
Personnel Section .  8 3
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 Report of the Water Resources Service
A. F. Paget, P.Eng., Deputy Minister of Water Resources
The year 1963 has been the first full year of operation for the Water Resources
Service, which came into being on April 1, 1962, as a result of the Department of
Lands and Forests Amendment Act, 1962, which created the Water Resources
Service. The Water Resources Service thus became a separate service, under the
direction of a Deputy Minister and responsible to the Minister of Lands, Forests,
and Water Resources for the administration of the Water Act and all matters pertaining to the water resources of the Province.
The year 1963 saw the completion of the reorganization of the original Water
Rights Branch of the Department of Lands into the new Water Resources Service.
The Water Rights Branch remains in existence, continuing the administration of the
control of the use of water under authority of the Water Act. The Comptroller
of Water Rights continues to head this Branch, with this position combined with
that of the Deputy Minister. The Deputy Comptroller, Mr. G. J. A. Kidd, returned
to the Water Resources Service from the British Columbia Hydro and Power
Authority in December, 1962, to take this position. Technical investigations
pertaining to the water resources of the Province are the responsibility of the Water
Investigations Branch, under the direction of the Chief Engineer, Mr. V. Raudsepp,
with Mr. T. A. J. Leach as Assistant Chief Engineer. This Branch has the
responsibilities, with some new duties and functions added, of the Hydraulic
Investigations Division of the original Water Rights Branch. Each branch contains a number of divisions, corresponding to its principal functions, as shown on
the organization chart with this Report.
During 1963, Water Resources Service offices moved to the old British
Columbia Power Commission building on Blanshard Street, and all Water Resources
Service personnel in Victoria are now located in the same building. This is the
first time for many years that Water Rights Branch functions in Victoria have been
centralized in one location.
Personnel matters, accounting, mailing, and filing for the Water Resources
Service continue to be conducted by the respective officers of the Lands Service, as
a Departmental responsibility. Arrangements exist with the Forest Service for the
mechanical inspection of Water Resources Service motor-vehicles. However,
during the year Water Resources files were transferred to a file room in the Water
Resources Building, although filing is still being carried on by Lands Service File
Room personnel. This arrangement has made file material much more readily
The year 1963 has seen the expansion of the responsibilities of the Water
Resources Service. One of these new responsibilities concerns the South Okanagan
Lands Project, administration of which was transferred from the Department of
Agriculture to the Water Resources Service, effective April 1, 1963. This Project
is unique in British Columbia in that it is the only Provincially developed and
administered irrigation project in the Province, serving about 5,000 acres of irrigated
land in the Oliver-Osoyoos area with water for irrigation and, in the case of Oliver,
with water for domestic use. The Project, which was initiated in 1920, was
originally intended to provide for the resettlement of veterans of World War I. It
was administered by the Lands Service from its inception until 1956, when administrative responsibility was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, in whose
hands it remained until the 1963 transfer to the Water Resources Service. In
addition to operation and maintenance of the water-distribution system, the Project
is charged with the management and disposal of Crown land within its boundaries.
Because many of the components of the irrigation and domestic water systems
have reached an age at which replacement must be expected, the transfer of responsibility for this Project to the Water Resources Service comes at a critical time in
the history of the Project. The impending replacement of these major components
of the system requires a decision as to whether provision should be made for
extensions to the area to be irrigated. To this end, extensive studies to determine
the feasibility of increasing the area served are being carried out by the Water
Investigations Branch.
A major expansion in the responsibilities of the Water Resources Service
during 1963 has resulted from the Federal Government's Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act (A.R.D.A.). The Water Resources Service is
carrying out engineering in connection with the Provincial Government's responsibilities under this programme, which will provide Federal and Provincial Government funds for a wide range of projects involving rehabilitation and development
of agricultural lands to encourage the best use of these lands. A special section
has been set up in the Water Investigations Branch to design the projects and
generally to carry out the work of the Service with respect to A.R.D.A.
A general review of duties, with, in many cases, reassignment of same, has
taken place in the Service, which, with the recruitment of new personnel that has
taken place, should provide a basic task force to deal with the work arising from
administration of the Water Act and the water investigations made necessary by the
Province's expanding economy.
As in the past, senior members of the Water Resources staff participated in a
number of committees and boards dealing with water and related matters. A
partial list of these includes British Columbia Energy Board, Fraser River Board,
International Kootenay Lake Board of Control, Pollution-control Board, British
Columbia Deputy Ministers' Committee on A.R.D.A., British Columbia Natural
Resources Conference, Hydrology Sub-committee of the National Resources Council, Western Snow Conference, Western Reclamation Association, British Columbia
Public Works Association, and committees involved in Columbia River Treaty
negotiations. Among these, the Fraser River Board made particularly heavy
demands on staff time during the year, which saw the completion at the end of
December of its final report, marking the culmination of over 15 years of work by
the Board and its predecessors.
Much help was given to this Service during the year by other departments and
agencies, and special appreciation is noted for the assistance of the Lands Service,
the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, the Department of Mines and
Petroleum Resources, the Bureau of Economics and Statistics, and the British
Columbia Hydro and Power Authority.
The history of water law dates from the very inception of the Colony of
British Columbia. In this, the first separate report of the Water Resources Service,
a brief review will be made in the following sections of the legislative and administrative changes brought about to meet the changing economy of the Province.
The importance of water to the growth and development of mankind has
usually been considered by those who presently enjoy it, the historians who recount
the rise and fall of empires, and the roseate-minded planners of great futures for
industry and nation as a matter that can be taken for granted or ignored. However,
fresh water is a most basic requirement to man and his food supplies, and the wise
use of the available supply is mandatory, be this large or small.   Conversely, as
EE 11
populations expand and intensive use is made of the river valleys and lowlands,
the threat of floods from the occasional too ample supply must be met. Conservation of water for most beneficial use is a natural requirement of the greatest
importance with very high significance as to the future growth of our population
and its economy.
British Columbia has always taken the view, unique in Canada, that water was
a special resource, and early in the history of the Colony, and henceforth to this
day, has consistently legislated that water was owned by the Crown, who made
legislative arrangements for its licensing and use. Arrangements and organizations
have been necessary in order that this concept should be workable. Originally,
when population was sparse and the available surface supply to meet the then
current demands was large, much of the administrative power was placed in the
Gold Commissioners' hands. Later, provisions were made by special Acts of the
Legislature for large-scale water use, both for power and municipal purposes. By
1909 the concept of a formal government licensing agency whose whole function
would be water administration had been formalized. There were expansions to
this original Act, followed later by substantial reductions, but, in intent and application, little fundamental conflict would be experienced should this Act be, in effect,
unaltered today, except for the unwieldy and time-consuming processes then considered necessary. The first task set out by the Act of 1909, and confirmed by later
Acts and amendments, was to remove the special privileges of private Acts, to
establish a uniform method of licensing and to create licences, especially for
individual and agricultural purposes where existing usage had demonstrated beneficial use but no formal application or record had been issued. This task was given
to a Board of Investigation, which worked for many years to finalize these objectives.
The Board was disbanded in 1939, and its powers transferred to the Comptroller
of Water Rights. There are very few remaining incidences where administrative
action was not taken by the Board to bring absolute uniformity to water administration throughout the Province.
The Water Rights Branch operated as a semi-autonomous agency within the
Department of Lands from its original inception in 1909, with its responsibility to
the Executive Council or to the Minister. As might be expected, the senior officials
were originally performing in an unchartered area, both with respect to jurisdictional
matters and also from topographical and hydrological information, which is so
obviously needed. A review of this nature must acknowledge the far-sighted
procedures put into effect by these early pioneers, and it is considered that special
mention should be given to Mr. J. E. Lane, who, more than any one single man,
was responsible for the comprehensive legislation now in effect and the enormous
task of bringing into being the many early licences of the Branch. He served in
many capacities—as solicitor, Chairman of the Board of Investigation, Deputy
Comptroller, and for his last year of service was Comptroller of Water Rights. His
total service span was from 1919 to 1951, during which time the whole shape and
texture of the processes of our present administration developed.
The first officials responsible for water administration only were Chief Water
Commissioners—Mr. W. S. Drury, 1909 to 1911; Mr. J. S. T. Alexander, 1911;
with Mr. J. F. Armstrong, the first Chairman of the Board of Investigations, acting
as Comptroller during the first period of reorganization of the Water Rights Branch.
Mr. William Young was the first appointed Comptroller, from 1913 to 1919.
It is hard at this time to evaluate the accomplishments of the Branch during this time.
The period of the First World War intervened, but much data was gathered and
many valuable reports on water resources were made. The work of the Board was,
of course, continuous in this period.
Mr. E. A. Cleveland served from 1919 to 1926, and although his fame is more
apt to rest on his accomplishments as the first Water Commissioner for the Greater
Vancouver Water District, great forward steps were made in the Branch under his
direction. The South Okanagan Lands Project was initiated, great stimulation was
given to power studies generally, and the whole activity of the Branch was given
vigour and purpose. His studies of the needs for a metropolitan water supply for
Vancouver and the adjacent municipalities led to the formation of the first greater
district, which he then headed until near his death in 1952.
Major J. C. McDonald was Comptroller from 1926 to 1938, and he competently carried on the work of the Branch. Under his tenure of office, the largest
part of the work of the Board of Investigations was carried out. Work of an
investigational nature became curtailed with the distress of the depression years.
At the end of 1938 the Government decided to have a separate utility commission,
where previously much of this had been done by the Water Rights Branch in
licensing controls, and Major McDonald was appointed as an original member of
the Public Utility Commission. The sections pertaining to utilities were taken
from the Water Act, and other streamlining and modifications were made. This
Act is substantially the same with which we administer water at this time.
Mr. E. Davis's tenure of service, 1938 to 1946, coincided largely with the
Second World War, during which time there was little opportunity to study or
maintain more than routine application of the Water Act. However, an aftermath
of the depression years was cleared away.
Government loans for dyking, irrigation, and drainage had been made to
improvement districts during the 1920's and even into the 1930's. It had been
found impossible for the land-owners to raise the money to make full payment on
these accounts, and the situation required the appointment of a Royal Commissioner
to inquire into and report on this. Dean Clement was appointed and reported in
1946. His report was accepted by Government, which substantially scaled down the
debts of the districts. One other item of note concerned the decision, which was
made in 1944 by Canada and the United States, to study jointly the water resources
of the Columbia River.
Mr. R. C. Farrow was the first post-war Comptroller for the years 1946 to
1950, and during this time there was recruitment of staff, expansion of interest in
hydrology, especially snow surveying, and renewed intensity in the general accumulation of data and the conduct of water-resource investigations. The agreement to
conduct studies of the Fraser River jointly with the Government of Canada was
made in 1948, and this work has been continuous until this time. It is also worthy
of note that this period saw the commencement of such projects as Alcan's Kemano-
Kitimat operation, the British Columbia Power Commission which was established
with a large initial project on the Campbell River, and much other expansion to
hydro-electric power generally. A joint committee headed by Major Farrow, and
composed of senior members from British Columbia and Canada, planned the
establishment of several projects for resettlement of veterans. It is unfortunate that
Major Farrow died suddenly in office and was not permitted to complete the work
he had commenced.
Mr. J. E. Lane was in office for one year, retiring early in 1951. The substantial effort he contributed was made before he was Comptroller, and the highlights of
his contributions over 30 years of the administrative life of this Branch and Service
have already been commented on.
Mr. E. H. Tredcroft was Comptroller from 1951 until his death in office late
in 1954.   It is difficult to place any substantial forward thrust in the 1950-55 period
EE 13
as the Branch was moving forward with the momentum of the immediate post-war
years and no single officer was in office long enough to effect substantial policy
changes. There was, however, in this period great public activity and an ever-
pressing demand for assistance and information.
The present Comptroller, Mr. A. F. Paget, has held office since 1954, during
which time the Branch has emerged to Departmental status. It is still too close in
time to review any significant trends during this decade or to report on highlights as
such. It is sufficient to say that the work of the Service has been expanded many
times, the interests of officials have widened, and the complexities of dealing with
matters concerning ordinary Water Act administration have greatly increased.
The following sections represent a more detailed review of the history of water
legislation in British Columbia and of the evolution of some of the more important
functions involved in the administration of British Columbia's water resources.
Water Legislation
The law of British Columbia with regard to water is based on the concept that
water is property, and as such, under the British North America Act, comes under
the jurisdiction of the Provinces, as has been substantiated by Court decisions. The
jurisdiction of the Federal Government over water is therefore limited to special
matters such as navigation and international streams, while all use of water within
the Province comes under the control of Provincial Statutes.
The most important single feature of British Columbia law with regard to water
is the denial of " riparian rights," which are derived from English common law, and
are still in force in much of the English-speaking world. These are the so-called
" natural rights " which the natural position of the lands, through or adjoining which
a natural stream flows, gives to their owner in and to such watercourse and to the
use of the waters flowing therein. A riparian right applies particularly to the use
of water for drinking and washing and severely limits its use for other purposes which
might affect the rights of other riparian owners. Under a system of riparian rights,
a riparian owner does not lose his right to take water simply because he has never
exercised it.
The riparian law still works well in countries where the supply of water is
plentiful and where it is not used extensively for high-quantity uses such as irrigation and industrial use. However, the indequacy of the riparian law under British
Columbia conditions was recognized at a very early time by the hydraulic miners of
the Cariboo gold-rush days, who required an assured supply of water at places
remote from streams or rivers. It was also apparent that an equally assured supply
was needed for the growing of hay, for cattle-ranchers, and for the fruit-growers in
the Interior. These users often required the complete flow of small streams continually over a long period to justify the very substantial investments that they were
making to develop their holdings. The recognition of riparian rights would have
prevented most of the agricultural development of the Southern Interior.
The first legislation with regard to water in British Columbia is contained in
the Gold Fields Act of 1859, in which it was provided, in effect, that
(1) the Gold Commissioner could grant exclusive rights to the use of defined
quantities of water, not necessarily for use by a riparian owner;
(2) that the water-user would pay a rental to the Crown;
(3) that neglect to use the water or wasting of the water would result in the
cancellation of the privilege;
(4) that the holder of the right could sell the water, provided that he charged
fair and non-discriminatory rates.
These regulations were probably derived in part from the rules which the
miners of California had applied there some 10 years earlier. All of the principles
found in these old regulations are found today in our present Water Act. They
were first applied to the use of water on cultivated land by a land ordinance of 1865,
which provided for the diversion of any unoccupied water from a stream on the
authority of the Stipendiary Magistrate for the district.
Under the Water Privileges Act of 1892, provision was made for the use of
water for purposes not covered by the Gold Fields Act or the Land Act upon application to a Judge of the Supreme Court. This Act is historically important because,
for the first time, a definite declaration was made that all the water in the streams
of the Province belonged to the Crown, and that no further riparian rights could be
acquired. This Act was followed in 1897 by the Water Clauses Consolidation Act,
which consolidated the various laws dealing with water and stated that a water right
was appurtenant to the land or mine for which it was obtained and was deemed to
pass with any conveyance of the land or mine. Another important provision of this
Act made explicit an implied provision of the 1859 regulations that the privileges
granted were conditioned upon the reasonable use of the water for the purposes for
which they were granted.
The rights to the use of water which were granted under these early laws were
a matter of record in the books of officials scattered throughout the Province. These
records were often very vague, resulting in frequent disputes and litigation. Accordingly, in 1909 the Legislature brought down the first so-called Water Act of the
Province. This went into the matter of the acquisition and control of water rights
in great detail and created a tribunal, called the Board of Investigation, which was
set up to hear the claims of all persons holding records of water or other water rights
and to prescribe the terms upon which new licences should be granted. In particular, the Board had authority to determine the priorities of the respective claimants
to water from any stream, and to assign the quantity of water to which each claimant
was entitled, to direct and establish the works of each claimant, to order the improvement of any works for the purpose of preventing waste, and to issue, in place of the
record, a licence which set out all particulars accurately. The Board was actively
engaged in this work for about 10 years, during which time about 8,000 orders were
issued confirming and establishing rights by licence. A Water Act ol 1914 further
clarified the application of principles which had been established by earlier legislation and set forth in great detail the procedure for obtaining a licence and keeping
it in good standing. This Act definitely put an end to the rights of riparian owners
who did not file their claims with the Board before June, 1916.
The Water Act was drastically amended in 1939, and was cut down from more
than 300 sections to about 80. The Board of Investigation was abolished, and most
of its remaining functions were vested in the Comptroller of Water Rights. However, the fundamental principles of the earlier legislation remained unchanged. Since
1939 the Act has remained relatively unchanged, except for the addition of some
sections concerning improvement districts. The most significant change since 1939
was an amendment made in 1960 to extend the provisions of the Water Act to
ground-water, which had previously not been covered by the Act. Ground-water
areas are to be proclaimed by Order in Council, and although this has not yet been
done, a ground-water division has been set up in the Water Resources Service to
carry out the technical work necessary to permit the control of ground-water use
when this becomes necessary.
The principal features of the Water Act are as follows:—
(1) The original right to the use of water is vested in the Crown and the right
to individual use is subject to the holding of a licence and payment of
annual rental to the Crown.
(2) A licence which is not used is subject to cancellation.
(3) Priorities between licences are determined by priority of date of licences.
(4) The holder of a water licence has the right to expropriate land on which
to construct his pipe-line or other works.
(5) A municipality or improvement district for waterworks purpose has the
right to expropriate any licence authorizing the diversion of water from
any stream suitable for a water supply for the municipality or improvement district.
The administration of water resources in British Columbia is carried out by
the Water Rights Branch of the Water Resources Service. This Branch is under
the direction of the Comptroller of Water Rights, who has the sole authority to issue
licences for the use of water in the Province, and to cancel existing licences in case
of failure by the licensee to comply with the requirements regarding the making of
continuing beneficial use of the water and payment of annual rental to the Crown.
An important feature of this administration is the delegation of authority to the
local level, where engineers are required, under the Water Act, to interpret the
existing water licences and regulate all use of water.
There are at present District Engineers of the Water Rights Branch at Victoria,
Mission City, Kelowna, Kamloops, Nelson, and Prince George. This authority at
the local level is necessary because of the nature of water use, which requires an
uninterrupted enjoyment of the water rights in question. For this reason, an immediate decision on the ground in cases of dispute is of much more value for the holder
of a water right than an award of damages by a Court at a much later time. The
decision of the Engineer may be appealed to the Comptroller, whose decision is, in
turn, subject to appeal to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
The water law and its attendant administrative system which has evolved in
British Columbia has, on the whole, worked very well: it has encouraged efficient
use of water supplies, which in some areas are very limited, and has resulted in
remarkably little litigation on water matters. There appears to be every reason to
believe that it will continue to work well into the future because of its flexibility,
which results from the requirement of continuing beneficial use of water as a condition of holding a right, from the protection which it affords to future requirements
for waterworks purposes, and from the wide discretionary powers which are placed
in the hands of the Comptroller of Water Rights.
Local Administration of Water Use
One of the most important features of the administration of water use in British
Columbia has been the delegation of authority to officials on the ground to make
decisions with regard to the interpretation of water rights and the regulation of
water use. Although such decisions are subject to a right of appeal, they form the
practical working basis for the administration of the water rights which are in existence at any particular time. By an early amendment of the first Water Act, this
local authority, which had originally rested in the hands of Gold Commissioners,
Land Commissioners, and Stipendiary Magistrates, was placed in the hands of Engineers appointed under the Water Act.
The division of the Province into water districts and the appointment of Engineers thereto was first accomplished in 1913 pursuant to authority granted under
amendments to the Water Act in that year. Eight districts were established, as follows: Victoria (including Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Lillooet, and Quesnel
Divisions), Kamloops, Nicola, Okanagan, Kettle Valley, Nelson, South-east Kootenay, North-east and North-west Kootenay.
The Victoria District comprised practically the whole of the Province north of
the Railway Belt, including Vancouver Island, and contained four divisions, with
an Acting Engineer appointed to each of the Vancouver Island, Lillooet, and Quesnel Divisions and two Acting Engineers to the Vancouver Division. One District
Engineer was appointed to each of the remaining districts, making a total of 12
Engineers assigned to work in the districts initially.
The " Order of Work " assigned to the District Engineers in order of priority
of the undertakings was as follows:—
(1) Engineering investigation of old records in connection with the work of
the Board of Investigation.
(2) Systematic and continuous work in stream measurement.
(3) A study of the proper duty of water for land under irrigation in the various areas.
(4) The prevention of wasteful use of water.
(5) Policing of use of water from streams.
(6) Economic distribution and delivery of water.
(7) Inspecting water systems to determine their efficiency and safety.
(8) Determination of storage possibilities.
(9) The investigation of water-power possibilities.
Because of the urgency and importance of the Board's work in determining
rights to the use of water so that water licences could issue and proper administration of water be established, the first function on the above list occupied most of
the Engineers' time during the initial years. However, as the work required to be
done for the Board became less demanding in some areas, the Engineers were able
to devote more time to the other items on the " Order of Work," and the amount
of information obtained and data compiled by this small group of Engineers on
stream flows, water-power possibilities, storage possibilities, and other phases of
water use is surprising. Having Engineers familiar with each area in the various
districts also enabled the Comptroller to order special investigations made and to
issue prompt decisions on contentious matters that otherwise might have dragged
on indefinitely.
An interesting description of the early Engineers' parties and their work in
connection with investigation of water records is contained in the 1912 Report of
the Water Rights Branch:—
" Each party consisted of an engineer and his assistant who acted as rodman
and axeman, but if there was heavy cutting to do the engineer was empowered to
engage help. Meals were generally obtained at various ranches and only the tents
and personal gear were carried.
" The method used in locating ditches and intakes was generally by a compass
survey with a transit, unless it was found that local attraction affected the compass-
needle when deflection angles were resorted to. Comparative elevations were obtained by vertical angles and distances measured by stadia. After each record had
been investigated and surveyed, a plat showing the information obtained; viz. intake,
ditches, irrigable land and irrigated land was made to a scale of 20 chains to the
inch, unless the details could not be shown to that scale, and attached to the copy
of record together with the report and sent to headquarters at Victoria."
Although procedures have greatly changed in the interim, these early investigations and surveys of records set the pattern that is followed today by the Engineers
of the district offices in investigating applications for water licences and in carrying
out investigations and surveys to determine what development has been made under
conditional water licences so that final water licences may issue.
In the early years, district offices and Engineers were moved from area to area
as the pressure of work dictated. Except for the Victoria office, the district offices
at Kamloops and Nelson were the only ones remaining in their original locations
from the time they were first established in 1913.
The most urgent investigations and reports for the Board of Investigation were
completed by 1918, so that the District Engineers were able to direct more attention
to the administration of the water licences that had already been issued. The amendments to the Water Act in 1913 conveyed reasonably wide discretionary powers to
the District Engineers in the exercise of their duties, and they were able to investigate
and resolve many conflicts that otherwise would have required the attention of the
Comptroller. The importance of the administrative aspect of the District Engineers'
work has increased with the increase in the number of water licences in existence
until it is now the major function of the district offices.
After the First World War, the Board of Investigation, which subsequently
became the Water Board, acquired its own staff of engineers, and by 1920 the
permanent district offices, each in the charge of a District Engineer, assisted by an
Assistant District Engineer, were functioning at Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, and
Nelson, with a sub-office at Cranbrook. The engineer at Cranbrook was released
in 1925 and the East Kootenay area, formerly administered from Cranbrook, was
taken over by the Nelson District Engineer.
All through the 1920's and 1930's the administrative work required of the
district offices was handled entirely by the District Engineer. The full time of the
Assistant District Engineers was occupied in carrying out surveys and preparing
reports on the use of water that had been developed by the licensees under the conditional water licences issued pursuant to the " Orders " of the Board of Investigation, or which had resulted from applications made under the provisions of the
Water Act.
Lack of accommodation and poor travelling conditions were two of the major
difficulties facing the Assistant District Engineers in carrying out the early water-
licence surveys. These difficulties were overcome by carrying their own camping
equipment and by renting horses and wagons from local ranchers when it became
necessary to get into areas otherwise inaccessible. Field trips of extended duration
were the rule, with the parties resorting to their own camp cooking when other
arrangements for meals could not be made.
During the war period 1939-45, little expansion in district office activities was
possible because of manpower shortages and restrictions on purchases and travel,
which replaced the depression conditions of the late thirties.
The post-war period saw a rapid increase in demand for engineering services
from the district offices and for administrative attention to water licenses, especially
in those areas where the available sources of water had become nearly fully recorded.
The services of the Assistant District Engineers were required more and more to
assist the District Engineers in the administrative responsibilities and to carry out
engineering investigations. Temporary summer survey assistants, usually university
students on summer vacation, were hired to carry out surveys for final licences and,
more lately, permanent technical personnel have been added to the staff of the major
Improved transportation and accommodation facilities have reduced the need
for extended field trips. Except for inspections and surveys of storage dams or proposed storage sites on the headwaters of streams, little of the work is far from well-
travelled roads.
Because of increased activity and interest in water in the northerly part of the
Province, it became expedient to open a new district office in Prince George in June,
1958. Also, because of increased activity and to reduce travelling from Victoria, a
new district office was opened in Mission City in June, 1961, to administer the Vancouver Water District, formerly part of the Victoria District Office responsibility.
Improvement Districts
An interesting feature of the Water Act is the facility which it offers for the
establishment of a rudimentary form of local government. In 1920 the Act was
amended to provide for the incorporation of an organization designated as an " improvement district." It was considered necessary at that time to create these public
corporate bodies to take over, operate, and maintain irrigation systems previously
owned and operated by the land companies and their subsidiary water companies,
mainly in the Okanagan area. For many years, improvement districts were incorporated with only one or more of the following objects: Irrigation, domestic water,
sewerage, dyking, drainage, electric light and power. However, in 1939 the Water
Act was amended to permit the incorporation of improvement districts " with such
objects as appear advisable," and, as a result, districts have been incorporated since
for many different purposes. As most districts are in unorganized areas of the Province, their formation permits the enjoyment in such areas of certain services not
otherwise available.
Upon petition from the land-owners in an area signifying that a substantial
majority are in favour of incorporation, Letters Patent are published bringing the
district into being under the name chosen by the land-owners and with the object or
objects set out therein in accordance with the petition. Improvement districts are
managed by elected Trustees, usually serving on a voluntary basis, who have relatively wide powers, including those of taxation, tax sale, and borrowing. The number
of Trustees required to run the district and the procedure to elect such Trustees are
contained in the Letters Patent, together with certain oher procedural and administrative detail.
Unlike most other forms of local government, which can afford to employ key
personnel with specialized knowledge to assist the elected officials, the Trustees of
improvement districts generally have to run the affairs of their districts without such
aid. As a result, the Water Rights Branch is called upon to assist with many matters
concerning the administration and operation of improvement districts, particularly
in the fields of legal work, accounting, and engineering. For this reason, an Improvement Districts Section has been set up, consisting of the Branch solicitor, an
audit accountant, an Inspector of Districts, and an engineering group. This Section
does a great deal of work connected with the preparation and registration of by-laws,
arranging for Provincial guarantee of borrowings, issue of debentures, supervision
and assistance in accounting methods and the preparation of financial returns, investigation into the feasibility and preparation of engineering plans for domestic and
irrigation and sewerage systems, and advice on general administration.
Water-power Administration
The administration of the use of water for the generation of electric power has
been one of the responsibilities of the Water Rights Branch from the Branch's incep-
tion. From an administrative point of view, the use of water for the generation of
power is inseparable from its use for any other purposes. However, the use of water
for power poses a number of special problems because of the vast amounts of water
involved and the effect of hydro-power projects particularly some of the vast projects
now conceived, on other resource use and on the public at large. Another special
consideration with power licences is that rentals paid for the use of water for power
purposes have become an important source of revenue, which for 1964, will amount
to approximately $2,000,000. Power-licence rentals, unlike water rentals for other
purposes, are related to the benefit obtained rather than to the quantity of water
licensed. Since these benefits are measured in terms of the size of the installation
and the quantity of power generated each year, computations of power rentals must
be carried out each year for each plant in the Province.
The duties and responsibilities of the Water Rights Branch with regard to the
use of water for power purposes have evolved gradually with the general evolution
of water administration in British Columbia. The first reference in the general
Statutes of British Columbia to the use of water for the generation of electric power
is contained in the Water Privileges Actoi 1892, which was described as " An Act to
confirm to the Crown all unrecorded and unappropriated water and water power in
the Province." This legislation was undoubtedly made necessary by the passage,
during the same session of the Legislature, of private Acts incorporating the Coquitlam Electric Company Limited, with water rights on the Coquitlam and Lynn Rivers;
the Nelson Electric Light Company Limited, with water rights on Cottonwood
Creek; and the North Vancouver Electric Company Limited, with water rights
on Seymour Creek and Capilano River. Another Act at the same session conferred
water rights on the Kootenay Power Company Limited for the purpose of generating
5,000 horsepower of electric power on the Kootenay River.
Although the earliest water rights for power purposes were conferred by
private Acts of the Legislature, the acquisition of rights for power purposes was
soon put on the same basis as the acquisition of rights for other purposes. The
Water Clauses Consolidation Act of 1897 provided that power companies might
acquire records of unrecorded water in the same manner as was required for obtaining records of unrecorded water for domestic, mining, and agricultural purposes.
The administration of water rights for power purposes thus became a part of the
general administration of water rights. This pattern was followed in the first Water
Act of 1909 and in subsequent revisions of the Water Act to the present time.
Some early hydro-power projects were located in areas in which the water resources were administered by the Federal Government, which issued the original
licences for such projects. Jurisdiction over these water resources was transferred
to the Province about 1914.
The payment of a rental to the Crown for the right to use water was established
in the Gold Fields Act of 1859, which was the first legislation affecting the use of
water in British Columbia. Provision for the payment of rental for water used for
power purposes was contained in the private Acts which granted the first water rights
for power purposes in 1892, and this principle was confirmed in the Water Clauses
Consolidation Act of 1897, and in all subsequent water legislation. The scale of
rental charges has varied from time to time with changing concepts with regard to
the value of hydro-power resources, the present charge amounting to about one-sixth
of a mill per kilowatt-hour at a normal power utility load factor. This is in the order
of 5 per cent of the cost of generating power in the largest and most economical of
the undeveloped hydro resources available for development now. Power-licence
rental for the Kitimat-Kemano project of Alcan is charged on the basis of a special
agreement which relates the power rental to quantity of aluminum produced and the
price of aluminum on the world market, but all other power-licence rentals in the
Province are based on the current tariff of fees, rentals, and charges which is
established by Order in Council.
Jurisdiction as to the adequacy of works authorized by water licences and the
manner in which they are operated rests with the Comptroller of Water Rights. This
responsibility has become increasingly pressing in the case of major power licences
as a result of increasing population and the pressure of other resource uses which
have enlarged the areas of possible conflict between power and other interests. This
is inevitable because a major power project usually involves a complete reshaping
of the flow pattern of a large stream, resulting in the creation of both benefits and
losses to the various interests involved. Although in most cases the benefits exceed
the losses, there is often a possibility that a changed pattern of operation could
maximize the benefits and minimize the losses in the set of circumstances which exists
at any particular time. It is therefore the function of the Comptroller to safeguard
the public interest with regard to major works for the diversion and storage of water,
both with respect to their safety and to the manner in which they are operated. The
general powers by which this can be done are provided by the Water Act, but in view
of the recognition of the growing importance of this matter, specific provision for the
jurisdiction of the Comptroller has been made in the storage licences recently issued
for the Columbia and Peace River projects by the inclusion of clauses which provide
that the plans for the projects must be approved by the Comptroller before the works
can be constructed, and that the works shall be operated to provide such releases of
water as the Comptroller may direct.
The investigation of sources of potential water power has developed concurrently with the administrative function with regard to water power. In part this has
resulted from the technical requirements for successful administration of water-
power resources, but also it has resulted from the recognition of the economic importance of cheap hydro-electric power. For these reasons, the Water Rights Branch
commenced potential water-power investigations immediately after its formation in
1909. At that time several small water-power installations were already in operation. The fact that the control over public utilities was one of the functions under
the Water Act prior to 1939 also made it necessary to carry out engineering investigations of the existing and proposed water-based utilities.
Initial power investigations were undertaken in co-operation with the Canada
Commission of Conservation, which agency published a review of British Columbia
water powers in 1919. By 1925 the engineers of the Water Rights Branch had
produced some 120 reports on potential power-sites. As could be expected, most
of these early investigations covered small power-sites where capital requirements
for a development would be moderate and where the size of hydraulic structures
would be manageable in terms of construction methods and equipment that had been
developed by that time.
In subsequent years, influenced by the growth of the over-all economy of the
Province and by the technological advances made by the construction industry, main
emphasis in water-power investigations shifted to large power schemes involving
high dams, large reservoirs, diversion of water from one watershed to another, and
large turbine and generator units.
In 1950 some 75 additional reports on potential power projects had been prepared, including some with a large potential, such as Nechako-Kemano project,
which had been accepted as basis for actual development. In addition, extensive
studies had been commenced on the Fraser River basin power potential in connec-
tion with the Federal-Provincial Fraser River Board investigations into Fraser River
flood-control possibilities. Similar basin-wide water-power development planning
had commenced on the Columbia River basin in co-operation with United States
agencies. The Water Rights Branch played a very active part in these studies, which
are now nearing completion.
A total of nearly 230 reports dealing with potential water-power sites in the
Province has been produced by the engineers of the Water Rights Branch during the
past 50 years. Based on these and several other investigations carried out by private
interests, the undeveloped prime power potential of the Province is currently estimated to be at least 22 million kilowatts.
There has, however, been a marked trend throughout the world toward the
upward revision of estimates of hydro resources. In British Columbia the 1919
estimate of undeveloped potential hydro power was 2XA million horsepower; the
1954 estimate was 10 million horsepower; while the 1961 estimate of 22 million
kilowatts represents nearly 30 million horsepower. On this basis it seems reasonable
to say that the undeveloped hydro resources of British Columbia are probably
capable of supporting a generator installation of the order of 70 million kilowatts,
and that the ultimate figure may easily be as high as 100 million kilowatts.
Water-supply and Reclamation Investigations
Associated with a land boom that started at the turn of this century, numerous
community irrigation projects were in existence in the dry Interior, particularly in
the Okanagan Valley, when the Water Rights Branch was formed in 1909. With
very few exceptions, these private developments were speculative in nature and the
construction was of low standard. These circumstances compelled the engineers of
the Water Rights Branch to undertake intensive engineering and economic studies
of the community irrigation systems and their rehabilitation. Ever since, the Branch
has been very active in irrigation water-supply development projects, giving engineering assistance to individuals as well as irrigation districts and guiding orderly
expansion of the irrigated agricultural land. Among the major projects noteworthy
is the irrigation system constructed by the Province for the Southern Okanagan
Lands Project after the First World War, for which a separate review has been
Municipal and industrial water-supply developments have been similarly
attended to by the Water Rights Branch, particularly in the earlier years when the
municipalities had not yet reached their present strength and when experienced consulting engineers were scarce. As an example, the development of the Greater
Vancouver Water District was based on the recommendations made by the Water
Rights Branch in 1922. A large number of new communities in unorganized territory of the Province have received engineering advice on their community water-
supply systems and have been formed into improvement districts to operate their
systems. This task has been rapidly increasing in the recent past. The engineers
of the Water Rights Branch have prepared some 225 reports on various water-supply
problems during the past 50 years.
Flood control, dyking and drainage, and river improvement work in our Province have mostly been carried out under special legislation not directly involving the
Water Act. Therefore, the Water Rights Branch undertook only a few engineering
studies in its field prior to 1945. However, the Branch gave engineering advice to
the Government in connection with private dyking and drainage districts.
In the more recent past a number of engineering investigations have been
carried out on major and minor flooding and erosion problems.   As it was mentioned
earlier, the Branch has made intensive studies for the Federal-Provincial Fraser
River Board in developing a flood-control programme for the whole river basin.
The Branch also participated in the development of the Okanagan flood-control
project. A total of some 110 reports has been prepared on flooding, erosion, and
other water-damage problems since 1945.
Hydrologic Investigations
When the Water Rights Branch commenced control over the use of surface
waters in the Province in 1909, one of the most serious problems was the complete
lack of stream-flow data. Observations made at a few rain gauges at valley-bottoms
were the only basic hydrometeorological information available at that time.
The Branch immediately commenced systematic observations on stream flow
by installing gauges and carrying out discharge measurements. At the same time,
Dominion authorities initiated stream-gauging in the Railway Belt, which at that
time was outside of the Provincial jurisdiction. A few years later the maintenance
and development of the stream-gauging network was assigned under an agreement
to the Dominion, where it still rests at this time. The Water Rights Branch, being
a major user of hydrologic data, is closely associated with the over-all development
of the stream-gauging network.
In 1953 the Water Rights Branch initiated snow surveys in the Province and
has gradually expanded the snow-course network over the whole Province. Spring
run-off volume forecasts have been made for a number of years on major streams.
Every engineering investigation discussed in the foregoing has included also a
hydrologic study in order to ascertain the available water supply, or the maximum
discharge which will have to be safely accommodated at a dam or improved channel,
or to anticipate the flood levels of a lake or stream. Due to the mountainous character of the Province and the proximity of the Pacific Ocean, the climate and hydrology
of British Columbia are very complex and require many more years of study and
observations before our knowledge in this field reaches a satisfactory level.
Ground-water Investigations
Generally speaking, the Province is well endowed by nature with good surface-
water supplies. However, there are areas where surface supplies become critical in
a dry year or are beyond an economically feasible distance. In such areas, and
particularly for individual households, ground-water, where available, offers a solution to water-supply problems.
The Water Rights Branch, during the first decade of its operation, attempted
to assist individuals in their search for ground-water by operating well-drilling rigs.
For several reasons, this policy did not prove to be workable and it was terminated.
From time to time, minor ground-water investigations were carried out by the engineers in connection with small community water-supply problems. Systematic
ground-water studies commenced in 1961 and are presently being expanded
The Water Rights Branch is the agency of the Provincial Government which administers the control and use of surface water under the authority of the Water Act.
The main principles of the Water Act regarding the use of water are:-—
(1) The property in and the right to the use and flow of all the water at any time in
any stream in the Province are for all purposes vested in the Crown in right
of the Province. The common-law principle of riparian water right has been
(2) Licence-holders have a right to the use of water under the terms and conditions
of the water licence issued by the Comptroller of Water Rights. Earlier licences
have priority over licences issued later.
(3) Retention of a water licence is dependent upon the beneficial use of the water,
payment of the water-licence rentals, and observance of the regulations of the
Water Act.
(4) A water licence is generally made appurtenant to a parcel of land, mine, or
undertaking, and it will pass with any conveyance or other disposition thereof.
(5) If it is necessary that a water licensee construct works on another person's land,
he can expropriate the land reasonably required if an amenable agreement cannot be reached. If the works will be on Crown land, the water licensee may
acquire a permit to occupy Crown land for such purpose.
The second major function of the Water Rights Branch is to generally supervise and
assist the administration of the improvement districts which have been incorporated under
the Water Act for irrigation, waterworks, drainage, dyking, street-lighting, providing financial aid to hospitals, fire protection, and several other purposes. An improvement district
is a self-governing public corporate body administered by elected Trustees. The undertakings of an improvement district can be financed by Provincially guaranteed debenture
The administration of the Water Act is carried out by the Comptroller of Water
Rights, and his staff are located at a headquarters office in Victoria and district offices at
Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, Prince George, and Mission City.
Water is a natural resource which often has a controlling influence on economic
development of other resources and, therefore, is in competitive demand by the utilizers
of other resources. Much of the vast industrial expansion presently occurring in this
Province is associated with the use of British Columbia water. A large number of communities have been incorporated into improvement districts under the Water Act to operate community projects and provide essential amenities.
EE 25
G. J. A. Kidd, P.Eng., Deputy Comptroller
The Water Rights Branch during 1963 was more closely associated than ever
with the matters of water licensing and the administration of the Water Act. The
general field of water investigation, hydrology, and scientific and technical studies
was divorced from the Comptroller and placed under the direction of the newly
created Water Investigations Branch. In many areas of water development and
resource use there are, however, no clearly defined boundaries of separate responsibilities, and close liaison between the two branches remains a continuing necessity.
The general reorganization of the Service saw strengthening of the Water Rights
Branch. Eleven new positions were created, most being in the District Engineers'
offices, where constantly expanding activities have created fairly large backlogs of
unfinished work. An administration officer was appointed to supervise the operations of the General Office and the Draughting Office, where much of the work of
licensing is carried forward.
Work associated with improvement districts has expanded greatly, and the
personnel engaged on this have been formed into a separate division under the
direction of the solicitor. Help is still needed from the District Engineers' offices,
and special assignments in the Service are made to keep up with the pressure of
work arising from the requirements of the constantly increasing number of districts.
The Municipal Aid and Development Bank policies of the Federal Government
have encouraged construction on many projects that had previously been considered
The Power and Major Licences Division have been increasingly active in
connection with the Columbia and Peace River projects, and with the approval of
plans for these projects in accordance with the terms of the water licences which
were issued. This section is now composed of five engineers, who, in addition to
the duties set out above, compose the nucleus for the digital computer studies for
the Service and in addition calculate power rentals and billings.
Comptroller of Water Rights
(A. F. Paget)
Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights
(G. J. A. Kidd)
Improvement Districts
(A. K. Sutherland, Solicitor)
(P. J. Leslie, Engineer)
District Engineer
(M. L. Zirul)
Power and Major
Licences Division
(H. D. DeBeck)
(D. B. Tanner)
District Engineers
Victoria—C. Errington
Kamloops—P. G. Odynsky
Kelowna—R. G. Harris
Nelson—R. A. Pollard
Prince George—C. K. Harman
Mission City—E. G. Harrison
Water Licencing Division
(D. E. Smuin)
Chief Clerk
Chief Draughtsman
The Deputy Comptroller has worked as a principal technical adviser to the
British Columbia group negotiating the sale of down-stream benefits during the year
and received support for this work from the Power and Major Licences Division.
A distressing falling-off in effective dealing with water matters under the Act
took place this year, notwithstanding the increased assistance provided within the
establishment for administration officers. It is thought that the bodily move of
files and personnel during the year and a substantial recruitment of new staff are
likely to be the reasons responsible for this situation, which will receive intensive
review in the ensuing year. Number of applications for water licences reached
a new record this year, with ever-increasing difficulties experienced in the administrative procedures attendant thereto.
D. E. Smuin, Administrative Officer
The Water Licencing Division is the instrument through which the Comptroller
of Water Rights carries out his statutory responsibility as set out in the Water Act
and regulations with regard to the issue of new water licences and the amendment
of existing water licences. This involves the maintenance of a complex record
system consisting of files, maps, and indexes of various sorts. At present there are
approximately 20,000 active water licences, and the new number of applications
received in 1963 reached a record high of 1,295.
These existing licences and the new applications overlap and interlock in
many ways, and often call for water greatly in excess of that available in the lakes,
streams, and springs. Each new application has to be considered in respect to the
amount of water available, the effect on prior rights, the suitability and security
of the proposed works, and the intention of the applicant to use the water beneficially. The district offices of the Branch, in processing applications, make
recommendations to the Comptroller following on-the-site inspections, which, in
most cases, are the substantial guides to the Comptroller's decisions.
The activities of the Water Licencing Division are divided between its two
sections—the General Office, under the supervision of the Chief Clerk, and the
Administrative Draughting Office, under the supervision of the Chief Draughtsman.
Reports of the activities for 1963 of these two offices follow.
General Office
The Application Section of the Licencing Division receives all new applications and processes them through various stages until either a licence issues or the
application is abandoned, cancelled, or refused. Any objections to the issuance
of a licence are investigated, and in some cases hearings are held in making final
determination whether or not a licence should issue.
In addition to the foregoing, the Application Section is responsible for
answering all inquiries concerning water rights applications and also for the filing,
indexing, and recording of all applications and of all written matters dealing with
The Amendment Section deals with applications for amendments to existing
licences, including apportionments, transfers of appurtenances, changes of works,
and sundry amendments.
Water licences are usually made appurtenant to land, and should the land
be subdivided the rights and obligations granted and imposed under a licence may
be apportioned among the owners of the several parcels comprising the lands to
which the licence is appurtenant.    The Amendment Section, in conjunction with
EE 27
the appropriate District Engineer, ensures that each land-owner obtains his right
in proportion to his interest in the licence.
Transfers of appurtenancies are required when a licensee wishes to include
additional land or to restrict the land to which the licence is made appurtenant.
The licence may be transferred in whole or in part to land owned by the licensee
or to another owner's land upon approval of the Comptroller. No additional
diversion of water may be authorized under any amendment to a licence or under
any licence issued in replacement for another licence. Changes of works authorize
the construction and maintenance of additional or other works than those previously
authorized. During recent years one of the major changes has resulted from the
replacement of irrigation ditches by pipe and sprinkler systems. Sundry amendments include the issuance of orders authorizing extensions of time for the completion of works, corrections of errors in a licence, changes of purpose, quantity,
The Amendment Section is also responsible for maintaining records and information regarding water-users' communities. The water-users' community is a
voluntary form of organization incorporated under the Water Act and made up of
a small group of six or more water-licence holders with most of the powers of an
irrigation district. These are formed by a certificate of incorporation issued by the
Comptroller. There were 67 water-users' communities in existence in the Province
at the end of 1963. Since each water-users' community is made up a group of
water-licence holders, the certificate must be amended each time the property covered by the licence changes hands, or whenever a new member is added to the
Licences may be abandoned by licensees at any time. However, the cancellation of licences must be done in compliance with the Water Act, which entails
searches of land titles in Land Registry Offices and the Surveyor of Taxes office.
The main reasons for cancellation of licences are non-payment of rentals, non-
beneficial use of water, and non-construction of works.
The applications received and the statutory procedures carried out by the
General Office in the 12-month period ended October 31, 1963, are shown in the
following table, together with the same data for the four preceding years. This
information is presented graphically on Plates 1, 2, and 3.
General Office Activities for 12-month Period Ended October 31 for Each Year,
Applications for change of appurtenancy.  __ 	
Rights-of-way issued    	
Approvals issued -  -	
Average monthly applications	
 EE 28
I /
1953 1954   1955   1956  1957   1958   1959   I960   1961    1962   1963
Plate 1.
1953 1954 1955   1956  1957    1958   1959 I960   1961    1962   1963
Plate 2.
 EE 30
53   1954 1955 1956   1957   1958  1959   I960   1961   1962   19
Plate 3.
Administrative Draughting Office
The staff of the Draughting Office is composed of a Chief Draughtsman, a
Supervising Draughtsman, seven draughtsmen, and a clerk. The main functions of
this office are checking the legal status of water applications, maintaining stream
registers and plan indexes, compiling and maintaining water rights maps, preparing
plats for licences, clearing land applications for the Lands Branch, attending to
requests for maps and various information from our district offices from various
departments of Government and from the public, checking petitions, and preparing
legal descriptions and plans for improvement districts.
Applications for water licences received by the Licensing Division are cleared
through the Draughting Office, and a complete check is made of the legal status of
every application received. In most cases this work entails a search of the records
of other departments of Government, such as Lands Branch, Land Registry Offices,
Surveyor of Taxes, Department of Highways, and Department of Mines and Petroleum Resources. By checking the records of these departments, it is possible to
obtain correct legal descriptions of property, check ownership, and see if conflicts
exist with the interests of other Government departments. Upon completion of this
work, all applications are entered on the water rights map and in the stream registers,
which together form a record of all pertinent data regarding water licences and
The Draughting Office also prepares the plats which are attached to every water
licence issued. These plats consist of a plan of the licensee's property and are drawn
on a large scale. They show in detail all works, such as the intake point, pipe-lines,
pumps, power-house, and buildings where water is to be used.
All applications to purchase or lease Crown lands or foreshore received by the
Lands Branch together with all applications for Crown grants are channelled through
this office for clearance. These applications are cleared against the water rights
maps to ascertain if there are any conflicts with works for existing water licences.
A major function of this Office is the checking of petitions pertaining to
improvement districts and other co-operative work with the Departmental Solicitor
and the Improvement District Division. This solves searches of the records of the
Land Registry Office and Surveyor of Taxes to obtain correct property descriptions.
When a petition to incorporate an improvement district has been checked and found
satisfactory, a plan showing all lands within the boundaries of the proposed district
is drawn up and a legal description defining the boundaries of the district is prepared.
Following incorporation of a district, copies of the Letters Patent and plans are sent
to the Land Registry Office, Surveyor of Taxes, Department of Highways, Water
Rights district offices, and the improvement district. This work accounts for about
25 per cent of the Draughting Office's time. During 1963, 14 new districts were
incorporated and the boundaries of 38 districts were amended.
The following table illustrates the work carried out by the Draughting Office
during the past two years:— 1962 1%3
New water applications cleared and plotted on maps.. 1,097 1,269
Final-  and  conditional-licence  plats   compiled  and
traced   1,195 2,181
New water rights maps compiled and traced  49 9
Water rights maps revised  19 10
New improvement districts described and plans prepared   10 14
Improvement districts descriptions and plans amended 42 38
Reference maps renewed  36 30
Change of ownership, apportionments, cancellations,
etc.   3,213 2,868
Land  clearances   (purchases,  Crown  grants,  leases,
etc.)   6,700 6,808
Land clearances (cancellations)   1,660 1,493
Rights-of-way over Crown land  203 162
Totals   14,224      13,982
M. L. Zirul, P.Eng., Chief District Engineer
The District Engineers and their staffs located at the six district offices within
the Province are charged with the general administration of the Water Act, which
includes reporting on applications for new licences and such other matters of an
engineering or administrative nature to which they are referred. The six district
offices are located at Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, and
Mission City.
To facilitate administration, a revision of water district boundaries and reallocation between district offices of responsibility for some areas was carried out this year.
Responsibility for the administration of water matters within the new Quesnel Water
District, which combines the former Quesnel and Barkerville Water Districts, was
transferred from Kamloops to the Prince George District Office.
The staff of the Prince George District Office was enlarged by adding an
engineering assistant, and a clerk-typist was engaged on a temporary basis. In
addition, an engineer-in-training was added to the staff at Kelowna and an engineer-
in-training and a field survey assistant at Nelson. There have been several staff
changes during the year occurring as a result of promotions and transfers within the
A vigorous policy concerning dam investigations is now in hand. New dams
must be built safely and older structures improved where the safety is in doubt. The
Kelowna office has made a good start in an over-all programme of dam inspections
and inventory this year.
The Chief District Engineer is responsible to the Comptroller and Deputy
Comptroller of Water Rights for the general supervision of the staff of the district
offices and their work. Several trips were made to the Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson,
and Mission City District Offices, and field trips were made with the Kamloops and
Kelowna District Engineers on dam inspections, and with the Nelson District
Engineer to investigate a restoration proposal at Fort Steele in the East Kootenay
area. Reports submitted by the District Engineers were reviewed before passing on
for the Comptroller's attention, and one report, on a possible flooding hazard on
the lower Capilano River in North Vancouver, was prepared. The District Engineers at Kamloops and Kelowna were assisted in the review of plans and specifications for some of the larger earth-fill storage dams proposed for construction in then-
The reports of the separate District Engineers follow.
Victoria District Office
C. Errington, P.Eng., District Engineer
The Victoria District Office administers water rights matters over the whole
of Vancouver Island and the adjacent islands.   The Nanaimo Water District was
enlarged during 1963 to take in the northern part of the Island, formerly in the
Vancouver District.
As new roads are pushed forward to open up unsettled land, the number of
applications for water rights increases. This has been very noticeable recendy in
areas like Port Renfrew, Tofino, and Kelsey Bay. In the same way, with new and
improved island ferry service now in effect, much new development is evident in
the Gulf Islands.
On the south-east coast region of Vancouver Island, from Qualicum to Sooke,
where the population is heaviest, there are few streams of any size which have
unrecorded water in quantities suitable for industrial or irrigation purposes without
storage. A number of small sources are still available for domestic licences, and the
investigation of application on these takes up a large proportion of the District
Engineer's time.
The meteorological data for 1963 at Nanaimo, Victoria, Alberni, and Campbell
River show twice the long-term average precipitation for July and about a half of
the long-term average for September. The four summer months had a total precipitation of 5.61 inches, which could be considered normal. With a wet July,
annual complaints connected with a shortage of water were at a minimum.
Summary of Year's Work
Total applications received  136
Conditional licences issued     96
Final licences issued     40
Conditional licences reported on  113
Licences abandoned or cancelled     31
A plebiscite was held in connection with the Mill Bay Waterworks District.
During the period under review some 21 special studies, investigations, and
reports were made.
Kelowna District Office
R. G. Harris, P.Eng., District Engineer
The Kelowna District Office administers the Princeton, Fairview, Grand Forks,
Vernon, and Revelstoke Water Districts, which comprise the Kettle, Similkameen,
and Okanagan drainage basins, the Shuswap River drainage basin above Sicamous,
and the part of the Columbia River drainage basin centred around Revelstoke.
The staff of the Kelowna District Office was increased this year by the addition
of an engineer-in-training.
The use of water in this area is continuing to increase, resulting in a heavier
demand on the District Office. A record number of applications were received
and processed by the District Office. A large portion of the field staff's time is now
occupied in carrying out surveys for water-supply investigations and storage development. The work dealing with water-supply problems for waterworks and irrigation
is assuming greater importance, as there is a growing demand for central water
supplies and replacement or extension to existing water-supply systems.
Of considerable importance is the continued and expanding programme of
inspection and surveys of existing storage-works, and a total of 109 inspections
and surveys of existing and proposed storage-works was made during the year.
This work is being carried out in conjunction with a water-resources study being
made by the District Offices. As a result of inspections, remedial work was ordered
on several dams, and in some cases replacement of the structure was ordered.
The uncertain condition of many of these dams indicates that a programme of
 EE 34
inspection and survey will continue to be an important function of the District
A number of surveys and studies of proposed dam-sites was completed.
Development of additional storage at existing sites is also being considered in a
number of areas where there is now a lack of further suitable storage-sites.
There are 70 improvement districts and 18 water-users' communities within
the area administered by the Kelowna District Office. The improvement districts
are incorporated for various purposes, amongst which irrigation, waterworks, and
fire protection are the most common. Members of the staff are frequently requested
to attend general or trustees' meetings to discuss district affairs and to assist in the
organization of new districts.
A summary of the activity connected with water-licence applications for the
years 1959 to 1963, inclusive, is given below.
Reports on
Cancelled or
Disposed of
Summary of Year's Work
Applications on hand, November 1, 1962     84
New applications received  211
Applications inspected and reported on  177
Applications cancelled or abandoned     18
Applications on hand, November 1, 1963  100
Surveys for final-licence and licence amendments, irrigation, etc     91
Dam inspections  109
Investigations of an engineering nature     94
Major Engineering Investigations and Studies on Water Supply and Distribution
1. Canyon Waterworks District.—Investigations of new sources and replacement of existing works.
2. Black Mountain Irrigation District.—Report and estimate of cost of developing a new supply and replacing existing works.
3. Larkin Waterworks District.—Prepared plan of existing works and investigated additional water supply.
4. Grandview Waterworks District.—Investigation with recommendations for
correction of losses in district's distribution system.
5. Shanboolard Waterworks.—Inspection with preparation of plans and
report on existing system.
6. South Vernon Irrigation District.—Preparation of plan of existing system
with recommendations regarding distribution and control.
7. Ellison Irrigation District.—The district was assisted in pressurizing part
of its system.   Plans of installed system are being prepared.
8. Westbank Irrigation District.—Preliminary inspection of diversion-works
and distribution system in connection with District's request for assistance under
Kamloops District Office
P. G. Odynsky, P.Eng., District Engineer
The Kamloops District Office is charged with administering the Water Act
over the central section of the Fraser River drainage basin from Boston Bar north
to McLeese Lake, near Macalister, including the watershed of the Chilcotin River
and the headwaters of the Dean River, the watershed of the North Thompson River,
and the watershed of the Canoe River down to its confluence with the Columbia
River. The area is divided into four water districts—Ashcroft, Cariboo, Kamloops,
and Nicola.
The average yearly precipitation within the water districts under the Kamloops
office varies from 7 inches at Ashcroft and 10 inches at Kamloops to 20 inches at
Williams Lake, 14 inches at Kleena Kleene, and 21 inches at Salmon Arm, and
irrigation is required in all areas to grow crops successfully. The majority of the
water licences issued are for irrigation or for storage to supplement irrigation
The 1963 water-year started poorly, due to the previous winter's snowfall
being abnormally light and resulting in storage deficiencies in many areas at the
beginning of the season. By the end of May the lack of winter snow assisted by
prolonged warm temperatures resulted in water shortages on many streams, and
warm temperatures, continuing through June, aggravated the situation. Fortunately
showery weather occurred in July and often enough through the ensuing two months
to alleviate most of the water shortage in streams and lakes in all of the water
In the Ashcroft, Kamloops, and Nicola Water Districts the number of streams
fully recorded is increasing rapidly, and on many of these the storage possibilities are
also fully developed. A trend toward pumping water from the larger rivers for
irrigation use on the bordering bench-lands is evident and should increase markedly,
particularly as electric power becomes more readily available, as these streams comprise the last large resources of unrecorded water in these districts.
About 400 storage dams are under licence in the four water districts to provide
water for irrigation, and many of the small streams are controlled to the full extent
of the economically feasible storage-sites. Storage dams can impose a serious hazard
on life and property down-stream if they are improperly constructed or maintained,
and for this reason the construction of new dams and the maintenance of existing
dams is supervised by the Water Rights Branch, with inspections by district offices
carried out as often as possible.
The steady increase in population, land setdement, and industry throughout the
area is accompanied by an increasing demand for water. The increase in the number of water applications received and the number inspected and reported upon is
illustrated in the following table:— Water Reports on
Applications Water
Year Received Applications
1959  221 151
1960  186 133
1961  237 95
1962  300 163
1963  330 314
Summary of Year's Work
Water applications received  330
Water applications inspected and reported  314
Final-licence surveys reported   107
Applications for amendment of licences reported on  46
Dam inspections  50
Dam failures inspected and reported on  2
Miscellaneous field investigations and surveys  90
Meetings with improvement districts and others  25
Court actions over water rights attended  2
Engineering Investigations Reported On
1. Dragon Creek flooding in the Town of Quesnel.
2. Drainage of Chilanko River marshes.
3. Preliminary report for domestic water supply for Westsyde Road community.
4. Spences Bridge Waterworks District water-line installations.
5. Hillcrest Waterworks District water supply.
6. Pemberton Creek flooding of certain lands.
7. Water study of Williams Lake.
8. Design of dam for Doctors Lake.
9. Renewal of Spences Bridge Waterworks District water system (report
Nelson District Office
R. A. Pollard, P.Eng., District Engineer
The Nelson District Office administers the Water Act in the Nelson, Kaslo,
Cranbrook, Fernie, and Golden Water Districts within South-eastern British
As a result of amendments to boundaries in 1963, the old New Denver Water
District was absorbed by the Nelson Water District, and the old Windermere Water
District was divided and absorbed by the Cranbrook and Golden Water Districts.
The Nelson and Kaslo Water Districts comprise the West Kootenay area, while the
Cranbrook, Fernie, and Golden Water Districts comprise the East Kootenay. Annual valley-floor precipitation averages around 12 inches in the East Kootenay
area and 26 inches in die West Kootenay. The East Kootenay is generally higher,
the winters colder, and the summers drier than in the West Kootenay; The East
Kootenay valleys are wider, and the terrain is more park-like and not so heavily
timbered. With the exception of a few somewhat extensive farm areas, such as the
Creston Flats, most of the farm land occupies narrow strips along rivers and lake-
shores near the foot of the mountains. Irrigation is required to grow satisfactory
crops in both regions. In addition to irrigation, water is also used extensively for
the generation of electricity. The use of water for mining purpose is decreasing
because of the decline in mining activity in the area.
The 1963 irrigation season had every prospect of water shortage due to higher
than normal temperatures and a below normal snowfall during the preceding winter.
There was an unusual number of complaints by licensees of water shortages in low
watersheds during the spring; however, the early summer was exceptionally wet and
cool, which removed the threat of a drought, and water-shortage problems during
the irrigation season were few. The late summer and autumn were dry, though not
exceptionally hot. The percentage of time that our staff has found necessary to
devote to the regulation of water use has been noticeably less than in the years preceding 1945, and only one regulation order was issued in 1963. The advent of
sprinkler irrigation has extended the available supply of water in some arid regions.
EE 37
Although the number of applications for new water licences received each year
has remained more or less constant, there are now more applications for amendment
of licences resulting from increased population and subdivision of land within the
settled areas. During 1963, 130 new conditional licences and 80 new final licences
were added to the Nelson Office files. During 1963 the subdivision and sale by
the Land Settlement Board of the old Doukhobor lands in the Brilliant, Ootischenia,
and Pass Creek areas resulted in a large increase in the number of applications for
water licences received from that area.
The following table indicates the increase in water-licence activity during the
five years from 1959 to 1963, inclusive:—
An engineer-in-training was added to the staff this year and a field survey
assistant hired on a continuing basis as party chief for final-licence surveys. Two
university students were employed to assist on final-licence surveys during the summer. On August 31st Assistant District Engineer D. E. Smuin received a promotion to Administrative Officer at Victoria, and he was replaced on September 3rd
by J. C. Purnell.
Summary of Year's Work
and Reported
and Licence
New applications received	
New applications investigated and reported on.
Applications abandoned and cancelled	
Final-licence and licence amendment surveys.	
Pollution investigations 	
Flooding investigations	
Water-use investigations
Meetings with improvement districts and water-users' communities	
Sampling snow courses	
Dam inspections
Miscellaneous meetings and investigations of non-routine nature     44
Engineering Investigations and Studies
Domestic water supply for Wardner, proposed Bonnie Braes Improvement
District near Trail, and proposed Fort Steele restoration.
Study on increasing the capacity of the East Creston Irrigation District's pipeline from Arrow Creek (incompleted).
Flooding from small streams in Castlegar, Fruitvale, Thrums, Kaslo, Spillima-
cheen, Creston, China Creek, and Donald.
Relocation of Michel Creek at Natal.
Several pollution problems on small streams, nearly all concerned with contamination of domestic water by suspended sediment.
Pump test of proposed well for Wilmer Waterworks District.
Design of division tanks for licensees on five streams.
Arbitration by District Engineer of one easement expropriated for pipe-line.
Prince George District Office
C. K. Harman, P.Eng., District Engineer
The Prince George District Office, established in June of 1958, up to November 1st of this year, administered the Water A ct in the Prince Rupert, Hazelton,
Fort Fraser, Prince George, and Peace River Water Districts in the northern half
of the Province. Effective November 1, 1963, the area was extended to include
the Quesnel Water District, including the former Barkerville District, and the Liard
Water District. The new area now includes the drainage basins of the Skeena River,
the Peace River and Liard River within British Columbia, and the Fraser River upstream from a point approximately 21 miles north of Williams Lake.
The staff of the Prince George Office consisted of one District Engineer only
up to August of this year, when an engineering assistant was added.
There were no reports on water shortages from any area during 1963. A relatively dry spring did occur in the Peace River, Vanderhoof, and Burns Lake areas,
which resulted in retardation of crops in these areas. If irrigation had been available, improved harvests might have been obtained.
Interest in the formation of improvement districts continued at a high level
during 1963, particularly in the area surrounding the City of Prince George. Two
new districts were formed near this city during the year—the Cottonwood Island
Improvement District and the Starlane Waterworks District. Several other areas
adjacent to the city are also in the process of organizing improvement districts. The
interest in improvement districts in the Prince George area is a result of the demand
for utilities brought about by the rapid growth in population in the outlying unorganized areas. The population growth was further accelerated in the last year
as a result of the start of the construction of a pulp-mill at Prince George, and much
information is being obtained on the ground-water potential in this area.
The following tabulation lists the number of water-licence applications received
at this office for the past 5 years. The number has almost doubled during the five-
year period, and with the addition of the new water district to this office a substantial increase is expected next year.
Applications Applications
Year Received Year Received
1959  43 1962  51
1960  44 1963  77
1961  64
Summary of Year's Work
Applications on hand at end of 1962  21
New applications received during 1963  77
Applications reported on during 1963  38
Applications cancelled or abandoned     8
Applications outstanding at end of 1963  52
Engineering Investigations and Reports
Fort Nelson Improvement District.—A study and report on proposed water-
and sewer-system extensions for the Fort Nelson Improvement District were completed, and design and supervision of the construction of the water and sewer pipeline extensions, recommended in the report, were also provided. Supervision of
the contract for the construction of a new 40,000-gallon storage tank was supplied,
and the district was assisted in the selection and purchase of automatic pump controls and new chlorination equipment.
Airport Hill Improvement District.—The residents of the Airport Hill Improvement District have voted in favour of constructing a water system utilizing an existing test well, and the Trustees have retained a consulting engineer to design the
water system.
South Fort George Waterworks District.—An estimate of the cost of a sewerage system to service the South Fort George Waterworks District was made for the
Trustees of the district.
Flooding Problems.—There was no major flooding this year in this district.
Flooding complaints were received and reports prepared on flooding at Buckhorn
Lake, near Prince George, and at Mapes, near Vanderhoof.
Mission City District Office
E. G. Harrison, P.Eng., District Engineer
The Mission City District Office administers the Water Act in the Vancouver
and New Westminster Water Districts, formerly part of the administrative area of
the Victoria Office. The Mission City District Office was established in the new
Courthouse in Mission City in June, 1961.
There has been an adequate supply of water in most streams during the two
years this office has been in existence, except in the southern portion of Surrey, the
south-east corner of Sumas, and various places on the Sechelt Peninsula, where
economical supplies of water are becoming scarce. The shortage in those areas is
due to an increasing demand for domestic water in residential areas coupled with
a diminishing supply of water as more land is cleared in the watersheds of the small
Much of the work of this office involves dealing directly with senior officials
of the large number of municipalities on the Lower Mainland who take a keen
interest in water matters. Many meetings have been held with the Reeves and
Councils of the municipalities in connection with water rights and other problems.
Summary of Year's Work
Applications received  182
Applications investigated and reported on  192
Applications refused, cancelled, or abandoned  37
Pollution   5
Flooding   22
Miscellaneous   4
Meetings with Trustees or organizers of improvement districts  8
Meetings with officials of municipalities  19
Conditional licences added to files  129
A. K. Sutherland, Solicitor
The number of improvement districts in operation has been increasing steadily
for many years, as illustrated in Plate 4, and there is now a total of 291 districts in
existence. During the year, the following new districts were incorporated: Bonnie
Braes Improvement District, Cottonwood Island Improvement District, Deep Cove
Improvement District, Fanny Bay Waterworks District, Fernwood Waterworks
 EE 40
1920   1925 1930   1935   1940 1945 1950 1955  I960 1963
Plate 4.
District, Gillies Bay Improvement District, Langdale Waterworks District, Mill Bay
Fire Protection District, Port Clements Improvement District, Port Hardy Improvement District, Sion Improvement District, Starlane Waterworks District, Sumas No.
3 Road Irrigation District, and Tretheway-Edge Dyking District. One district,
Salfrey Improvement District, was dissolved.
As already stated, the object (or objects) for which a district is incorporated
is set out in its Letters Patent. Upon petition of the Trustees, action may be taken
to have such Letters Patent amended to include extra objects, and many districts
which were originally incorporated for one purpose now have several. The activities
for which the existing districts are responsible include irrigation system—ownership
and operation; domestic waterworks—ownership and operation; dyking-works;
drainage-works; land-improvement works; fire protection—provision and (or)
operation; street-lighting—provision and (or) operation; garbage—collection and
(or) disposal; sewerage-works—ownership and operation; parks and playgrounds—
provision and (or) operation; cemetery—operation; community hall—provision
and (or) operation; electric power—generation and (or) distribution; mosquito
control—financial aid toward; hospital—provision and operation, or provision of
financial aid toward building and (or) operation of a hospital; ambulance service—
ownership and (or) operation.
Improvement districts incorporated for hospital purposes are distinctively
named, with the words " Hospital Improvement District No. " contained within
the corporate name. There are 32 such districts now in existence. Two of these
have the responsibility for the provision and the operation of hospital facilities, but
the remainder are responsible only for providing financial aid toward the constructing, equipping, or operating of a hospital in the vicinity.
All districts are empowered by the Water Act to raise revenue by the levying of
a tax or taxes upon one or more of a number of bases, and to raise money by the
imposition of tolls and charges. They are also empowered to issue debentures and
to obtain funds for capital purposes (this is the usual method in use). In many
cases, improvement district debentures and the interest thereon are guaranteed by
the Province pursuant to the Improvement Districts Assistance Loan Act. At
the present time there are $10,581,000 of such guaranteed debentures outstanding,
of which $1,227,000 were guaranteed during 1963.
Section 62 of the Water Act enables districts to obtain current operating funds
as advances from the Province (for certain purposes only) and to utilize the services
of the local Provincial Assessors and Collectors to collect these advances from the
land-owners in the areas and to repay the Province. The purposes for which this
procedure may be used are fire protection, street-lighting, hospital purposes, and
ambulance services providing it is supplied by a fire protection or hospital district.
If a larger amount is required for capital purposes, and collection and repayment by
the Provincial Collector in the same year would result in too heavy a tax burden for
that year, an advance of the required amount may be obtained from the Province,
with collection and repayment carried out over a number of years. During 1963 the
following advances and collections were made under this Act:—
(a) Assessed and collected for repayment of amounts advanced for the current year  $938,651.90
(b) Amounts advanced in 1963 by the Province repayable
in future years  _____      77,150.00
(c) Assessed and collected for amounts advanced with repayment over a number of years     222,195.56
(d) Total long-term advances outstanding as at December
31, 1963  1,612,032.80
Improvement Districts Engineering Section
The Improvement Districts Engineering Section is concerned with the engineering aspect of improvement districts incorporated under the Water Act of British
Columbia. The objects of improvement districts, among others, include irrigation,
domestic water supply, sewerage, street-lighting, drainage, and garbage disposal.
The principal function of this Section is to establish or check the economic and
technical feasibility of development schemes proposed by the districts and to offer
technical assistance in operating existing engineering works.
The following is a list of assignments completed during the past year:—
Reports Prepared
Boundary Line Irrigation District.—The Boundary Line Irrigation District
supplies water to about 100 acres of orchards, located on the east side of Osoyoos
Lake and approximately 2 miles south of Osoyoos. The Section completed field and
office studies of the existing system and reported on remedial measures, considered
necessary, to meet the demands of sprinkler irrigation.
Naramata Irrigation District.—The Naramata Irrigation District is located on
the east side of Okanagan Lake and 7 miles north of Penticton. Irrigation and
domestic water is supplied to approximately 1,000 acres of orchards and some 260
homes and commercial properties. A report was prepared in which emergency
measures were proposed to meet a threatened shortage of water during the 1963
irrigation season.
Westsyde Area, Kamloops.—A report on the Westsyde area, 3Vi miles north
of Kamloops, investigated the technical and economic feasibility of installing a
domestic water-supply system.
Hagensborg Area, Bella Coola.—The residents in the Bella Coola Valley
encounter difficulty in maintaining a satisfactory supply of water from the individual
sources currentiy being used. A field study was made, and the subsequent report
indicated the organizational steps necessary to form improvement districts and the
probable costs of installing community water systems.
Airport Hill Improvement District.—A report prepared for the Airport Hill
Improvement District, near Prince George, examined the technical feasibility and
probable costs of installing a water system, using a moderate-yield test-well as an
interim source of supply. The test-well was drilled by the Water Resources Service
in the course of routine ground-water studies.
Proposed Little River Improvement District.—The proposed Littie River
Improvement District is situated adjacent to and north of the Comox Airport.
A report was prepared to assist the organizing committee in determining the limits of
the area which could be economically served by a community water-supply system.
Canyon Waterworks District.—Remedial measures for system operating problems were proposed in a report prepared for the Canyon Waterworks District. The
district supplies water to 16 farms located in an area 3 miles north of Armstrong.
Review of Water-supply Proposals
Reports, plans, estimates, and specifications submitted by consulting engineers
on behalf of the following improvement districts were reviewed by the Improvement
District Engineering Section:—
Genelle Improvement District.—The Genelle Improvement District is located
some 10 miles north of Trail. The district is negotiating to acquire and rehabilitate
an existing privately owned water system.
Dean Park Road Area.—The Dean Park Road area in North Saanich has been
included in the Sidney Waterworks District. Plans and specifications covering the
works necessary to serve the new area have been approved, and the start of construction is imminent.
Cherry Creek Waterworks District.—The Cherry Creek Waterworks District,
located adjacent to Alberni, submitted proposals to extend the existing system to
serve new areas.
Fort Fraser Improvement District.—Fort Fraser Improvement District, some
90 miles east of Prince George, submitted plans for a community water-supply
system.   The works have subsequently been installed.
Wilmer Waterworks District.—A report covering the proposed installation of
a domestic water-supply system was received on behalf of the Wilmer Waterworks
District, located north of Invermere.
Gillies Bay, Texada Island.—The Gillies Bay community submitted plans for
a domestic water system.
Mill Bay Improvement District.—Plans were approved for the installation of
a water system to serve the Mill Bay Improvement District, located on the west side
of Saanich Inlet.   Construction of the works is proceeding.
Sicamous Waterworks District.—Various alternative schemes for water supply
to the community of Sicamous were studied.
Fruitvale Area.-—Plans were submitted for proposed extensions to the system
serving the Fruitvale area, east of Trail.
Sandwick Waterworks District.—Alternative proposals for water supply to the
Sandwick Waterworks District, which is located north of Courtenay, were reviewed.
Beaver Falls Waterworks District.—The Beaver Falls Waterworks District
submitted proposals for the purchase of an existing privately owned water system,
and the extension of the system to serve a larger area. This district lies between
Trail and Blueberry Creek.
Port Hardy Improvement District.—The Port Hardy Improvement District has
prepared proposals for the installation of a domestic water-supply system to serve
the North Vancouver Island community.
South Pender Harbour Waterworks District.—Proposals were approved for
the installation of a water system to serve the South Pender Harbour Waterworks
District, located on the Sechelt Peninsula.
Deep Cove Waterworks District.—A large part of the unorganized area of
North Saanich is now assured of a domestic water supply following project approval
of plans submitted by the Deep Cove Waterworks District.
Beaver Creek Improvement District.—Proposals to augment the existing water
system were submitted by the Beaver Creek Improvement District, near Alberni.
Fernwood Point Improvement District.—Fernwood Point Improvement District, on the north-east coast of Saltspring Island, obtained approval for the installation of a water system.
Pemberton North Improvement District.—Pemberton is located on the Lillooet
River north of Garibaldi Park, and the improvement district submitted modified
proposals for a community water-supply system.
Naramata Irrigation District.-—The Naramata Irrigation District applied for
approval of emergency pumping facilities designed to meet an impending shortage of
water during the 1963 irrigation season.
Westbank Waterworks District.—The Westbank Waterworks District, located
at Westbank near Kelowna, obtained approval of a scheme to augment existing
water-supply facilities.
Review of Sewerage Proposals
Proposals for the installation of sewer systems for the following districts were
reviewed by the Section:—
(1) Radium Waterworks District.
(2) Queenswood Sewerage District, north of Nanaimo.
(3) Departure Bay Improvement District, north of Nanaimo.
(4) Valley View Improvement District, east of Kamloops.
(5) Westbank Waterworks District, near Kelowna.
(6) Port Hardy Improvement District, North Vancouver Island.
Review of Irrigation Proposals
Engineering proposals regarding irrigation projects were reviewed for the
following districts:—
(1) Wilmer Irrigation District, north of Invermere.
(2) Sumas Road No. 3 Irrigation District, near Yarrow.
(3) Naramata Irrigation District, near Penticton.
In addition to the above, the Section reviewed numerous engineering plans of
proposed water systems for privately owned subdivisions.
Direct engineering assistance was also given to the Fort Nelson Improvement
District, which was faced with major technical and financial problems. This assignment included the design and preparation of contract drawings for sewer- and water-
system extensions. The construction work is now completed except for the final
stages of a 40,000-gallon-capacity reinforced-concrete balancing storage tank.
Throughout the year, Engineering Section personnel have travelled extensively
in the Province, holding meetings with district Trustees, organization committees,
municipalities, and other groups actively concerned with problems of development.
It is a measure of their achievement that the majority of the proposed schemes listed
above owe their origin to feasibility studies previously carried out by the Improvement District Engineering Section.
The Power and Major Licences Division is responsible for engineering and
administrative duties in connection with the use of water for power purposes. The
various duties performed by the Division include:—
(a) Reporting upon the suitability of all power-licence applications, and
undertaking any further investigations that may be required.
(b) Administration of the Water Act in so far as it applies to the use of water
for power purposes, including the calculation and billing of annual rentals
and fees.
(c) Investigation and research necessary to guide Government policy with
respect to the development of the hydro-electric power potential of the
(d) Completion of statistics concerning the use of water for all purposes, as
a guide to future water-resource planning.
Power Licensing Administration
All water-licence applications for power purpose are scrutinized by an engineer
of the Division for suitability and to determine the rentals payable. Where the
amount of power to be developed is fairly substantial, further investigation may be
made by the Division, including, where necessary, the hiring of specialist consultants.
In the case of major power-licence applications, special attention is paid to
public safety. This may require carrying out specific studies or obtaining expert
advice on such matters as the stability of dams and the necessary measures for dealing
with floods. The optimization of site potential also receives serious attention with
regard to the integration of a hydro development with other loads and resources in
the most economic fashion.
Other aspects commonly taken into consideration as being in the public interest
are the extent to which reservoirs should be cleared of flooded timber, the general
effects on fish and wildlife, and the use of reservoir areas for recreation.
Special clauses may be placed in licences with respect to any of the foregoing
Existing Licences
The duties of the Division staff with respect to existing power licences consist
of the calculation and billing of annual rentals and fees; the compilation of annual
generation figures for use in calculating rentals and preparing statistical records;
administration in connection with special clauses in licences, including carrying out
the necessary studies and investigations; and interpretation of the Water Act with
respect to use of water for power purpose, including any general matters pertaining
Power Policy Planning
An important duty of the Division is to assist in the over-all planning of power
development in the Province. Studies are made of all potential major developments
to determine how they might best fit into a Province-wide hydro-electric system.
This is a continuing task, as fresh scientific and engineering developments constantly
improve the feasibility of different projects and thus entail periodic reassessment of
the situation.
Specific fields of study in connection with power-policy planning include the
compilation of historical electric generating records and the preparation therefrom
of forecasts of future load growth; studies of international power-system developments, such as the Columbia River; investigation of other public benefits obtainable
at hydro-electric developments; and preparation of an inventory of available undeveloped power resources.
Studies and Investigations
The various duties of the Division often require special studies covering certain
aspects of the item under review, and certain of these are being described more fully
in this section.
Consulting Advice
For matters falling outside the technical competence of the staff of the Water
Resources Service, the Deputy Minister may call on outside help. During the past
year the following consultants have given advice: Mr. D. J. Bleifuss, in connection
with the general aspects of the Portage Mountain dam and the Duncan Lake dam,
and Dr. H. Q. Golder, in connection with the design of the main dam at Portage
Use of Electronic Computing Equipment
In the past, use of the I.B.M. 650 computer was made to study the probable
cost of power and flood-control methods for the Columbia River development.
With the recent change to an I.B.M. 1620 computer, the above studies are
being reprogrammed for greater versatility, and in addition a new one is being prepared to study the electric energy obtainable from a Province-wide hydro-thermal
electric system. This new study is believed to be a significant departure from current methods of determining system power outputs, and it is hoped that it will be in
operation in a few months' time. In brief the programme is intended to compute
the outputs at each project in an expanding system, consisting of both hydro and
thermal installations. This procedure is particularly desirable in the case of British
Columbia, due to its unique position as a relatively undeveloped power resource
Water-licence Statistics
The work of compiling statistics on all water licences was commenced during
the summer. Basic data for each licence were listed for subsequent punching on
I.B.M. cards. The feasibility of this project was only made possible by the installation, during 1962, of improved data-processing equipment. When this work is
completed, it is hoped that up-to-date statistical information will be available at all
times covering such items as total licensed usage for all water districts and precincts,
total land under irrigation, etc. It is expected that in the course of time the inventory will be extended to cover all unrecorded sources, and would then constitute a
most valuable indication of the amount of water available within the Province for
human consumption and use.
Undeveloped Water Power in British Columbia
In 1954 the Water Rights Branch published a booklet entitled " Water Powers
of British Columbia." Studies subsequent to that date have shown the available
potential to be several times greater than was then anticipated. Because of this,
a review is under way to update the information previously published and to
make a more precise estimate of the Province's undeveloped hydro-electric power
resources. In the past, calculations of power potential have been unduly conservative, and it is therefore intended to correct this situation by applying modern techniques in the development of major sites and the transmission of power over long
The first stage of the above-mentioned study is almost complete, and consists
of an itemized list, or inventory, of all potential sites and the power available at each
one on an individual basis. The next stage consists of determining the contributions
which individual sites can be expected to make when operated in an integrated
system. It is believed that this method of calculating potential output will increase
the total from known sites by perhaps at much as 50 per cent on the present figure
of 22,000,000 kilowatts. There are, however, many sites that have not yet been
investigated at all, and it is possible that the ultimate figure may be several times that
Developed Hydro Power
This section is largely devoted to water-power developments over the last two
years that have not been covered in previous reports of the Water Rights Branch.
A comprehensive review of the power development of the Province was published
by the Branch in May, 1963, and the following paragraphs serve merely to update
this information and that of previous Annual Reports.
EE 47
Generation and Load Growth up to December 31,1962
The total amount of electrical energy generated by the 54 principal operating
hydro-electric plants in British Columbia during 1962 was 13,571,637,000 kilowatt-
hours, an increase of 9.7 per cent on the corresponding figure for 1961.
Plate 5 shows the hydro-electric development in British Columbia to date and
the following table shows the hydro and thermal generating totals for the past 11
years. The average rate of load growth over the last 10 years is 10.46 per cent
compounded. Plate 6 shows the breakdown of generating statistics amongst the
major producers. The figures for the British Columbia Electric Company and the
British Columbia Power Commission, now amalgamated to form the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, are shown both separately and combined. Interim
totals for 1963 generation are shown on Plate 6.
Electrical Generation in 1,000 Kwh.
Total in
Average Mw.
Increase on
Hydro i
Previous Year
1952 -	
1955               -
Per Cent
1957. --	
5 09
1 96
9 30
i From Water Rights Branch records.
2 From Bureau of Economics and Statistics.
3 Estimate.
Additional Installations during 1963
The only significant addition made during 1963 to the Province's hydro potential was the third 90-megawatt unit at the Waneta plant on the Pend d'Oreille River,
owned by Cominco, which was placed in operation on June 14th.
Peace River Development
The first big contract for $73,600,000 in connection with the Portage Mountain
dam was let in May. This was for the main earth-fill dam. Diversion of the river
commenced in September, and an immediate start was then made on preparation of
the foundations. The contract calls for the completion of the earth-fill dam to its
full height by 1967. Subsequent contracts for power-plant installation are expected
to provide for first generation of power in 1968.
 EE 48
The peak loads of individual  power plants    rarely
occur at  the  same time. The.   Total of Plant Peak Loads
thus exceeds   the highest simultaneous output  of
alt BC hydro plants, though   the  yearly   changes
shown  in  the graph should he similar in  size  and
19ZO    Z925      1930     1935
1340     1345      1350      1955
I960     1965     1370      1975
Plate 5.
EE 49
.s sz
r^r    -
203   5
/_?20      Z925       Z930      »35       1340      1345      1350      1355      1360      1365      1370      1375
ALCAN Aluminum   Company of   Canada.
BCE British Columbia Electric   Company t
as-n** a   t- l   s-  i      i ■      r, ■- . Shown   solid until ama/qamation  then  dotted.
BCPC British Columbia  fbm:r Commission.) *
CM45 Consolidated Mining 4 5melting Company 4 Whst Kootenay Rawer 4 light   Company.
BCHPA British Columbia   Hydro * Power Authority - Shown dotted  prior  to amalgamation   then  solid.
f   /
i    /
j fJ
/ r
/ j
\9t0     1325      1330     1335       1340     1945      1350      1355      I960     1365     1970      1375
Plate 6.
The Water Investigations Branch was formed in late 1962 as a consequence of the
creation of an independent British Columbia Water Resources Service which took effect
on April 1, 1962. The Hydraulic Investigations Division of the Water Rights Branch
was transferred to the Water Investigations Branch, and it formed the nucleus of the
new Branch.
The functions of the Water Investigations Branch, which is headed by the Chief
Engineer, are to deal with technical matters pertaining to the water resources of the
Province, which matters are not directly connected with the administration of the Water
Act. These functions, carried out by various divisions of the Water Investigations Branch,
are briefly summarized below.
(1) Water Supply and Investigations Division:
{a) Irrigation and domestic water-supply investigations to assist and advise the
Department and general public in the development and maintenance of
watery-supply projects.
(b) Flooding, drainage, and stream-erosion investigations to give engineering
advice and assistance in solving water-damage problems.
(2) Hydrology Division:
(a) Snow surveys and snow-melt run-off forecasting to guide judicious utilization of water supply.
(b) Hydrologic studies of the Province to compile and evaluate basic hydro-
meteorological data in such a form as to make them readily adaptable.
(3) Ground Water Division.: Collection of existing ground-water data and investigation and evaluation of ground-water potential to encourage and guide the
future use and conservation of this source of water supply.
(4) Basin Planning and Power Division:
(a) Development of plans for water conservation on regional basis with an
immediate aim to indicate possibilities of augmenting the existing water
(ft) Investigation and inventory of undeveloped hydro-electric power potential
of the Province.
The above functions are carried out in co-operation with a number of other Governmental agencies with an aim to enable the British Columbia Water Resources Service to
foster better use of water resource, which is one of the principal physical foundations
of the economic development of the Province.
EE 53
V. Raudsepp, P.Eng., Chief Engineer
The technical water matters were transferred from the Water Rights Branch
to the newly created Water Investigations Branch in December, 1962. This transfer
involved 18 permanent-staff members of the Hydraulic Investigations Division of
the Water Rights Branch. The 1963/64 approved estimates of the British Columbia Water Resources Service increased the permanent staff of the Water Investigations Branch by 21 positions to a total of 39, of which, by the end of 1963, three
positions were still pending establishment, one was vacant, and one was held for
an employee on leave of absence. Nine new permanent positions were filled by
employees who had been on temporary employment for some time in the past.
The Water Investigations Branch deals with technical matters related to the
water resources of the Province, where such matters are not directly connected with
the administration of the Water Act. The principal functions of the Branch are at
this time carried out by four Divisions of the Branch, as follows:—
(1) Water Supply and Investigations Division.
(2) Hydrology Division.
(3) Ground Water Division.
(4) Basin Planning and Power Division.
The divisions are supported by a Draughting Office and a Reports and Record
Section. In addition, a section is being organized to deal with water projects under
the Federal-Provincial Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act (A.R.D.A.)
assistance programme.
In August the Water Investigations Branch moved its offices from 557 Superior
Street and 516 Michigan Street to 780 Blanshard Street.
Chief Engineer
(V. Raudsepp)
Assistant Chief Engineer
(T.A.J. Leach)
A.R.D.A. Projects
(W. K. A. Dobson)
Water Supply and
Investigation Division
(R. G. Harris)
(J. H. Doughty-Davies)
(A. R. D. Robertson)
Ground Water Division
(E. Livingston)
Project Engineer,
Fraser River
Hydrology Division
(H. I. Hunter)
Chief Draughtsman
(B. Varcoe)
Basin Planning and
Power Division
Records Compilation and
Reports Section
■ A. Z. Stencel)
The following pages contain in some detail an account of the work carried out
by the Water Investigations Branch. A few observations on staff changes and activities are given below.
Mr. T. A. J. Leach, who was in charge of the former Hydraulic Investigations
Division, was appointed to the position of Assistant Chief Engineer in luly.
The Water Supply and Investigations Division continued to study a variety of
irrigation and domestic water-supply and flooding and erosion problems. Four
small stream-improvement projects were carried out with some local financial participation. Active participation in the studies carried out by the Fraser River Board
continued under Mr. T. A. J. Leach and Mr. J. P. Riley, Project Engineer. Mr.
Riley resigned from the Branch in December to take up postgraduate studies. Mr.
R. G. Harris, Water Rights Branch District Engineer at Kelowna, was appointed
to the position of Chief, Water Supply and Investigations Division, in November
and is expected to take up his new duties in early 1964.
The Hydrology Division, under Mr. H. I. Hunter, continued to expand successfully the water-supply forecasting activities, and the snow-course network was
extended to the northern regions of the Province. Preparations are being made for
the annual meeting of the Western Snow Conference at Nelson in April, 1964.
Staff additions enabled the Division to commence rearrangement and analysis of
the existing hydrometric data.
The Ground Water Division, headed by Mr. E. Livingston, continued systematic compilation of ground-water data, on which work was commenced in 1961,
and which will require many years' work before an intelligent assessment of the
ground-water potential of the Province can be made. Four test drilling operations
were carried out under contracts, and a pamphlet, " Practical Information on
Ground-water Development," was compiled and published.
In the Basin Planning and Power Division, engineering and economic feasibility of augmenting Similkameen River basin water supplies is under study. In
respect to undeveloped hydro-electric power of the Province, investigations into
Stikine and Dease Rivers power potential have been renewed.
While the functioning of the Water Investigations Branch in the above-mentioned fields became, by the end of 1963, satisfactorily established, commensurate
with the available staff, additional tasks were emerging as a result of the expanding
responsibilities of the British Columbia Water Resources Service. Among these
are the activities in connection with the Federal-Provincial Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act (A.R.D.A.) assistance programme.
The tasks of the Water Supply and Investigations Division can be divided into
two main engineering sections—(a) irrigation and domestic water-supply investigations and (b) flooding, drainage, and stream-erosion investigations. Within the
latter, the studies made for the Federal-Provincial Fraser River Board formed an
important part of the activities of the Division.
The following are the main projects that have been dealt with in 1963:—
Irrigation and Domestic Water-supply Investigations
Doukhobor Lands Water Supply
General.—As reported in the Lands Service Annual Report for 1955, the
Water Rights Branch conducted a survey of the engineering aspects of supplying
water for irrigation and domestic use to all the Doukhobor lands.   The purpose of
the investigation was to assist the Doukhobor Research Committee and the Royal
Commission Inquiry then being conducted by Mr. Justice A. E. Lord into the administration of the Doukhobor lands in British Columbia.
In recent years the subdivided holdings of the former Christian Community
of Universal Brotherhood Ltd. have been offered for sale, and many of the lots have
been purchased, especially in the Grand Forks area and in the Kootenay communities of Raspberry and Brilliant. Individual houses are now being planned for construction on these lots, and water for domestic use and irrigation has become an
immediate consideration. Accordingly, in August, 1962, the British Columbia
Water Resources Service was asked to advise the property-owners about available
sources of water and the approximate cost of supplying it to the several communities. Meetings were subsequently held with representatives of the Union of Spiritual
Communities of Christ and members of their land and water committees, representing the individual owners.
West Grand Forks Area.—In the investigation of water supply for the Doukhobor lands around Grand Forks, the Branch carried out a ground-water test drilling programme in 1963, which was successful in locating adequate supplies of
ground-water in the area. The use of ground-water to supply irrigation and domestic water requirements is apparently the most economical method, and several
alternative system layouts are being studied. The land-owners have petitioned for
incorporation of the area under the Water Act as Sion Improvement District.
The land under consideration comprises some 820 acres and makes up three
separate supply schemes: 510 acres between 1,800 and 2,100 feet elevation subdivided into 5-acre farm lots to be supplied with domestic and irrigation water; 225
acres between 1,750 and 1,950 feet elevation subdivided into 5-acre farm lots to be
supplied with domestic and irrigation water; and 95 acres between 1,720 and 1,740
feet elevation subdivided into 1-acre residential lots to be supplied with domestic
water only. The static ground-water level is approximately at 1,700 feet, with
anticipated drawdown to 1,650 feet, so that high-head and high-cost pumping
units will be required for the two larger schemes.
Raspberry and Brilliant Areas, near Castlegar.—The subdivision of the Raspberry and Brilliant communities was revised subsequent to the 1955—56 engineering
investigation and a complete reappraisal of the former water-supply proposals has
been necessary. There are two distinct subdivisions at Raspberry: New Raspberry
on the west side of Pass Creek, where 87 lots of about half an acre each can be
served, and Old Raspberry, east of the creek, comprising 111 lots covering nearly
60 acres. About 56 acres on the higher ground at Brilliant are split into residential
lots, leaving 72 acres on the lower bench in seven farm-sized lots.
While preliminary work was being done on the Raspberry and Brilliant areas
of the Doukhobor lands, owners of property on the west side of Pass Creek, some
within the Doukhobor subdivision and some outside, petitioned for their land to be
included in the neighbouring Robson Irrigation Districti. The district's Trustees
are not prepared to include this property at present. In view of the need for water
in that area, the study was enlarged to consider the additional 107-acre area, of
which about 57 acres could be irrigated.
Arcady Area Water Supply, South Ladysmith
A brief investigation was carried out into alternatives for a domestic water
supply for the Arcady area, which is situated within the boundaries of the Village
of Ladysmith and the Saltair Waterworks District and is supplied by a nearly ex-
pended gravity system.   Designs and cost estimates were prepared for three alternative methods of water supply to the area.
Keremeos Irrigation District
In response to a request from the Trustees of the Keremeos Irrigation District,
several alternatives for rehabilitating the district's irrigation systems were investigated and a preliminary report was prepared.
The district's two irrigation systems—the Ashnola River and Keremeos Creek
systems—convey water to 979 and 146 acres of irrigable land respectively. The
system works are becoming expended through normal use; therefore, extensive
replacements will be required in the near future. The investigation concludes that,
subject to results of a ground-water test programme in the district, a supply from
wells appears to be the most economical scheme for rehabilitating the Ashnola
River system. Other alternatives considered in order of economic feasibility were
supply from (1) the Similkameen River by pumping, (2) the Ashnola River by
rehabilitating the existing conveyance works, and (3) storage on Keremeos Creek
at Olalla. Recommendations for rehabilitating the Keremeos Creek system consist
of renewing the existing gravity conveyance works as present and pressurizing the
area at a later date, when required, by pumping from the conveyance works.
Black Mountain Irrigation District
An engineering study is currently in progress on system replacements for the
Black Mountain Irrigation District works, which convey water to some 4,270 acres
of irrigable land. The purpose of this study is to provide the district with a master
plan for future system replacements, drawn up in accordance with district system-
replacement policy, which is designed to obtain maximum use from existing system
components and limit pressurization to areas where topography does not provide
adequate operating pressures from existing works, without installing extensive new
Osoyoos West Bench Irrigation
Irrigation water-supply studies for an undeveloped area within the Southern
Okanagan Lands Project were made in 1962. Further studies were undertaken in
1963. Additional acreage was included in the proposal, and the land was tentatively subdivided into lots of approximately 10 acres. Two alternative schemes
were investigated, the most economical of which involved supplying the entire bench
area from the S.O.L.P. main canal and changing the source of supply for some 100
acres of the presently irrigated lower land to a pumping-station on Osoyoos Lake.
Under this alternative, it would be necessary to pump supplementary water from
Osoyoos Lake to the main canal at the lake-head spillway during a six-week peak-
demand period. The capital cost of irrigation-works for some 500 acres of the
Osoyoos West Bench was estimated to be $120,000, with an annual cost of $49
per acre.
Southern Okanagan Lands Project Gravity Irrigation System
This project is located in the southern portion of the Okanagan Valley between
Skaha Lake and the International Boundary and comprises about 5,000 acres of
irrigated land. Since its construction some 40 years ago under the Soldiers' Land
Act, the British Columbia Government has operated the system. In 1963 this
responsibility was transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the Water
Resources Service.   In view of the age of the structures, it was deemed advisable to
carry out an inventory of existing conditions with the object of setting up a renewal
programme for the existing gravity irrigation system.
The S.O.L.P. study was commenced in the latter part of the summer of 1963.
A series of flow measurements was made in the main canal during the peak-use
period in August to compare the demand flow in the canal and the possible capacity
of the canal. The year did not prove too satisfactory for these measurements as the
demand did not reach the peak that has been reached in other years. It was found,
however, that ample water was available in the main canal to supply the four proposed small irrigation developments in the alluvial fans of Read, Tinhorn, Hester,
and Testalinden Creeks, all within the Southern Okanagan Lands Project boundaries. The first two schemes were found to be infeasible, however, as the pumps
and delivery-lines of Units 2 and 3 did not have the capacity to deliver water to the
proposed development of Read and Tinhorn fans.
The study also considered the rehabilitation of the system generally. As many
of the main flume and siphon structures are due for complete renewal in the next five
to ten years, it was decided to consider the alternative of a pumped supply from
Osoyoos Lake for the southern area in the vicinity of Osoyoos. This would permit
the abandonment of several miles of flumes, which are expensive to construct and
maintain. In addition, the Oliver siphon, which is also due for renewal, could be
greatly reduced in size. Four alternative systems were considered, and it was found
that the most economical one was to pump irrigation water to the area between the
head of Osoyoos Lake and the United States Border and also to pump to the area
north of Oliver, known as " D " Lateral, leaving the rest of the area as a modified
gravity system.
A separate preliminary water-supply study was made in connection with a proposed Seventh-day Adventists school development on the east side of the Okanagan
River, which is within the boundaries of the Southern Okanagan Lands Project.
South-east Kelowna Irrigation District Domestic Water Supply
The present source at Canyon Creek for domestic water for South-eastern
Kelowna Irrigation District does not permit future expansion. Supply from this
creek must occasionally be augmented by irrigation water during exceptionally dry
seasons or at times when Canyon Creek carries heavy silt loads during the spring
months. There are three possible alternate sources for domestic water, all of which
would require pumping. These are Mission Creek, Okanagan Lake, and groundwater wells. The last-named possibility is presently under investigation by the
Ground Water Division. Of the two former, pumping from Mission Creek appears
more feasible because of lower pump lifts and shorter distribution mains. However,
a silt problem exists on Mission Creek which would involve filtration or sedimentation works. Surveys were made of possible sites on Mission Creek for such a
pumping scheme. A new domestic water system for this area would involve replacement of some existing water-mains, as well as extension to areas of proposed
development. A survey was made of the existing system to obtain pipe profiles and
control elevations. Maps of the district, to a scale of 500 feet=l inch and a
contour interval of 10 feet, are presently being draughted from manuscripts prepared on a Kelsh plotter.
Oyama Irrigation District System Improvement
The Trustees of the Oyama Irrigation District have requested engineering
advice on their proposed combined irrigation and domestic water-supply system.
The proposed system would involve almost complete replacement of existing works.
Surveys and soundings were made at possible pump-sites on Kalamalka Lake, which
is considered to be the best source of water. Bench-marks were established
throughout the district, and contour maps of the district, scale of 500 feet=l inch
with contour interval of 10 feet, have been prepared. Cost estimates are presentiy
being prepared for several alternate schemes using pumped water from Kalamalka
Lake. Ground-water as an alternative source of supply will be investigated by the
Ground Water Division.
Kaleden Irrigation District Rehabilitation
Investigations concerning Kaleden Irrigation District rehabilitation have been
continued. A completely revised system inventory and renewal programme was
prepared during the summer months. The district, after considering the costs and
operating conditions of the two available alternatives, has decided to proceed with
the renewal of the existing gravity supply system from Shingle and Shatford Creeks
rather than resorting to pumping from Skaha Lake.
The problems of right-of-way for the up-stream conveyance works outside its
boundaries are now being studied. These problems must be worked out before final
design and cost estimates can be made.
Ashcroft Area Irrigation Proposal
Feasibility studies into the prospects for irrigating up to 11,000 acres along
the Thompson River near Ashcroft, initiated in 1961, were continued in the latter
part of the year. Investigations are sufficiently advanced to indicate that development of the Bonaparte River as the single water source will not be an economic
proposition, so far as lands east of Cache Creek are concerned. It is more than
likely that local pumping from both the Deadman and Thompson Rivers will prove
to be more attractive, though costs may be considerably higher than the irrigation
economy of the area could support. The pumping development envisaged will
produce a major demand for power, to the extent that new transmission facilities
would have to be provided.   A reconnaissance report will be completed in 1964.
Trent River Water-supply Potential
A reconnaissance and brief office study were carried out in late 1963 to determine whether the Trent River south of Courtenay on Vancouver Island could be
used for domestic and irrigation water supplies. The possibility of using groundwater and alternative surface supplies was considered.
Okanagan Flood-control Works Survey
This project, extending between Penticton and the head of Osoyoos Lake,
includes storage dams at the outlets of Okanagan and Skaha Lakes, the Southern
Okanagan Lands Project diversion dam south of Vaseux Lake, an improved and
dyked river channel, and a number of drop structures. It was completed by the
Federal and Provincial Governments in 1957 under the Okanagan Flood-control
Investigations have been carried out in previous years to determine the capacity
of the improved river channel and to study the functioning of the control-works
under extreme high- and low-water supply conditions. In view of the material
changes that have taken place in the new channel since its construction, it was deemed
EE 59
necessary to undertake a complete survey of the flood-control works in 1963. The
survey included 23.5 miles of longitudinal profile of the Okanagan River, of which
19.6 miles are improved channel; 356 channel cross-sections; 36 discharge measurements; 17 drop structures; three dams; and all the existing water-supply
intakes. It is of interest to note that for the first time in our field investigations the
survey was organized in a manner that all basic survey data, both horizontal and
vertical, were calculated by I.B.M. 650 computer and thus became available to the
survey party during the field work. This was achieved with the assistance given by
the Survey and Mapping Branch of the Lands Service.
The survey was based on stadia traverses which were tied by triangulation at
25 different stations, representing a closure at approximately every mile for horizontal adjustment. In order to clarify the existing vertical control, a new line of
levels was run along the river channel and a number of new bench-marks were
The survey results are being plotted, and a report on the existing conditions of
the Okanagan flood-control works and required improvements will be prepared.
Similkameen River Improvement at Princeton
Early in the spring of 1963 the Similkameen River rose sharply, and, overtopping a gravel island, cut back into an old channel and eroded away a portion of
bank near the south end of Burton Road, immediately up-stream from Princeton
Village. It was only by emergency action that the flood waters were prevented from
washing away a manhole and entering the sewer system. The village requested
assistance, and an inspection and a limited field survey were carried out.
A proposal, using largely the materials at hand, was devised to protect the area.
Funds were made available by the Water Resources Service and the Village of
Princeton, and the Department of Highways constructed the dykes in October, 1963.
Upper Kettle River Log lam
Several Provincial departments have received complaints about log jams in the
Upper Kettle River and have investigated the situation. The Water Resources
Service inspected approximately 26 miles of the Kettle River and 9 miles of the
Westkettie River. It was found that one major log jam near Westbridge was completely blocking the river channel, being some 700 feet in length and some 300 feet
It was decided to remove this major log jam by hiring a local bulldozer as
well as power-saw operators, and the work commenced on November 10th. Low
temperatures caused suspension of the work in mid-December. It is intended to
complete the removal of the log jam in March, 1964.
Coquitlam River Flooding and Erosion
A proposal by a local contractor to remove gravel from the Coquitlam River
some 2 miles down-stream from the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority
dam at Coquitlam Lake was submitted to the Water Resources Service by The
Corporation of the District of Coquitlam. The proposal was accompanied by a
layout plan and river cross-sections prepared by consulting engineers.
Based on this information and the contractor's gravel requirements, a report
was prepared outlining a possible method of gravel removal which would minimize
the effect on the river regime. This consisted of containment of the river within
a designed channel by means of a system of groynes, spur dykes, and bank revetment.   The scheme would be developed in three stages over a period of six years,
allowing the removal of some 119,000 cubic yards of gravel. The feasibility of the
proposed scheme depends on sufficient heavy material being available to complete
the containment structures, and it was suggested that investigation of sub-surface
material in the river-bed be undertaken as a preliminary step.
Vedder-Chilliwack River Flooding and Erosion
Field investigation of flooding and erosion in the Vedder-Chilliwack River area
commenced in 1958, when 15 cross-sections were established over a 10-mile stretch
of the Vedder Canal and Chilliwack River between the confluence of the Vedder
Canal with the Sumas River and a point some 2,Vi miles above the Vedder Crossing
Bridge. These sections have been remeasured for comparative purposes in 1958,
1959, and again in 1963.
The 1963 field work, carried out in September, was extended to include intermediate river sections to provide more data for use in the design of an over-all plan
for the rivers. During the field trip, samples of river-bed material were obtained at
selected points. Reduction of field-notes and plotting of sections and profiles are
now well under way. Flow-duration curves and flood hydrographs have been prepared, in the latter case both summer and winter conditions being considered. The
summer flood comes mainly from snow-melt, is of long duration and large volume,
but has a relatively low peak-flow. The winter storm is generally associated with
heavy precipitation accompanied by rising temperatures, resulting in a high peak
flood of short duration. Estimates have been made of bed load movement by the
rivers, and these data, together with the flood study, will be used in the design of the
controlled river channel.
In addition to the general survey of the above reach of the river, two local
erosion problems in the Chilliwack River were studied, as indicated below.
Some 2Vi miles up-stream from the Vedder Crossing Bridge, in the Mount
Baker Trail Improvement District, heavy erosion of the right bank of the river
occurred during the flood of November, 1962. A memorandum was prepared outlining a bank-protection scheme consisting of riprap revetment with river gravel
backing and extending for 1,800 feet along the river. It is understood that the
Department of Highways has since carried out a modified bank-protection project.
A complaint was received from a riparian land-owner on the Chilliwack River,
located some 3 miles up-stream from the Vedder Crossing Bridge, that work carried
out in the river by the Department of Highways and the Canadian Army had caused
erosion of his property. This was investigated, and it was found that work carried
out in the river to date had any effect on his property.
Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers Erosion and Flooding
In response to several requests for assistance and engineering advice for flood
control and erosion protection, an investigation of flooding and erosion problems
along the Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers is being carried out. During 1963 the
work was limited to a field survey, during August and September, to obtain longitudinal profile and 11 cross-sections of a 10-mile reach of Squamish River up-stream
from its mouth. Limited field work was also done on the Cheakamus River at the
Paradise Valley lodge, where erosion is threatening the existing development. Three
river cross-sections and a number of spot elevations were established.
Vancouver North Shore Flooding and Erosion
The investigations into flooding and erosion on the main streams draining the
Vancouver North Shore continued from the field survey work undertaken in the fall
of 1962. There are four major streams in the area that have been studied in some
detail—Capilano River, Mosquito Creek, Lynn Creek, and Seymour River.
The Capilano River, having a 50-year flood of 30,000 cubic feet per second,
has undergone some channel degradation in the past, caused partiy by the removal
of gravel at the mouth and the construction of the Cleveland Dam. At the present
time the river is slowly degrading its channel up-stream from the Marine Drive
Bridge. In the lower 1.5 miles of the river channel, the gravelly banks are easily
erodible, and there is a need for bank revetment and for flood protection in certain
The Mosquito Creek, with a 50-year flood of 2,400 cubic feet per second, is
the most troublesome stream on the Vancouver North Shore. It requires control
measures where it passes through built-up areas, which extend from tidewater to
the 1,100-foot level, a distance of some 3 miles. In this reach the channel slope
varies from 1.5 per cent near the mouth to 12 per cent at the 1,100-foot level. These
steep gradients indicate that improvement would be very costly. The most practical control plan appears to be the use of low check dams together with concrete
flumes at some of the steeper sections.
Lynn Creek, where a 50-year flood is estimated to be 10,500 cubic feet per
second, has a trouble section which extends approximately 2 miles up-stream from
its mouth to where the creek passes through erodible outwash materials. It was in
this section that active bank erosion resulted in the loss of a large sewage-treatment
tank during a flood in 1961. A proposed plan here is for the construction of three
or four large drop structures in the upper end of the trouble section, with bank revetment down-stream where adjacent land development extends to the creek banks.
From an estimate of sediment load, it can be expected that considerable dredging
will be required each year to clear debris from behind the check dams.
The Seymour River, estimated 50-year flood at the mouth of 25,000 cubic feet
per second, is similar to the Capilano in that a substantial water-storage dam now
exists on its middle reach and commercial gravel dredging is carried out at the
mouth. In the trouble section, the lower 3 miles of the stream, the channel-bed is
covered with large rock and appears stable; danger from high water would come
from bank erosion or bank overtopping. To prevent this, bank revetment would be
necessary for most of the area, combined with more selective dredging in the lower
sections toward the stream mouth.
There are many other smaller streams draining the Vancouver North Shore,
and those in West Vancouver require particular attention. In this area much has
been done to flume the lower portions of small streams through residential and commercial areas. The greatest hazard appears to be the accumulation of debris at the
inlets of drainage structures during flash floods, which indicates that some debris
catchment structures would be required. The use of drop structures for this purpose
is being investigated.
Cowichan River Flooding and Erosion
Studies on Cowichan River flood-control possibilities, commenced after the
January, 1961, flood, were continued. In 1963 some preliminary studies into the
possibilities of alleviating the almost annual flooding, which occurs in the new
residential subdivisions in the Somenos Creek area, were carried out. There appears
to be no immediate solution to this and other local flooding problems unless an
improvement programme for the entire lower reach of the Cowichan River and for
a portion of the Lower Koksilah River can be implemented. A number of authorities, including the City of Duncan, would be involved in such a programme.
A field investigation of Cowichan Lake outlet and a 6,700-foot section of river
immediately below it was carried out in late June and early July, 1963. The purpose
of the investigation was to produce maps showing underwater detail. Field work
consisted of soundings, survey of shoreline detail, and associated horizontal and
vertical control of stations used in the survey.: Two map-sheets, scale 200 feet—
1 inch, have been prepared based on the survey data.
A brief field survey of the Lower Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers near Duncan
was carried out during August of 1963 in order to measure the changes in channel
configuration that may have occurred since 1958, when the rivers were surveyed by
the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration. Field work consisted of re-establishing the P.F.R.A. cross-sections, five on the Cowichan River and three on the
Koksilah River, and establishing 16 new cross-sections of the channels of these
two rivers.
Mission and Fascieux Sloughs Channel Improvements near Kelowna
Following a petition in February, 1963, from land-owners in the South Kelowna area, field surveys and an examination of the drainage problems of the 550
acres tributary to Fascieux Slough, the southerly branch of Mission Slough, were
undertaken. Improvement of the slough channels was shown to be beneficial, and
two alternative proposals were outiined, involving the cleaning-out of the lower
reach of the Mission Slough and either cleaning out the Fascieux Slough or excavating a new channel along lot boundaries.
Mary Hill Drainage Interceptor, Port Coquitlam
Early in 1963 the Water Investigations Branch studied a proposal to construct
a drainage ditch that would intercept the run-off from 207 acres on the easterly
slope of Mary Hill in the City of Port Coquitlam. At present this area drains into
the low-lying lands of the Coquitiam Dyking District; it would relieve the pumping
load on the dyking district if the Mary Hill run-off was intercepted and drained by
gravity into the Pitt River as proposed. The proposal, originally prepared by a
consulting engineer, was considered to be practicable, and the estimate of the
construction cost was close enough to support the figure in the original proposal.
Salmon River Flooding near Sayward
Reconstruction and relocation work is being carried out on the Island Highway
between Campbell River and Kelsey Bay in the North Central Vancouver Island
area. Bottom-land in the Salmon River valley about 3 miles south of Sayward is
known to be affected by winter flooding, thus influencing the design of the section
of new highway which will traverse this land. The Water Investigations Branch
was asked to advise the Department of Highways of possible solutions. After brief
field inspection it was concluded that the regime of the river would be least
disturbed if the overflow channels in this section were bridged without dyking of the
river bank.
Fraser River Board Studies
Investigations for the Federal-Provincial Fraser River Board again occupied a
substantial number of the staff. These investigations have now been concluded, and
the results are being incorporated into the final report of the Fraser River Board.
Three main studies made in 1963 are summarized below.
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Lower Fraser Valley Winter Floods
Studies for the Fraser River Board involving seepage rates, drainage, and
winter flooding in the dyked areas of the Lower Fraser Valley were completed in
1963. These dyked areas would be affected by Fraser River up-stream regulation
through minor increases in late winter river-levels and major reductions in river
stages during spring run-off. Such changes in river stages would influence both the
winter flooding conditions and the annual costs for each dyking district to an extent
dependent upon its particular location and drainage characteristics.
In order to assess the effect of Fraser River regulation on drainage-works in
these districts, a preliminary study was made to determine the relationship between
river-levels and rates of seepage through the Fraser River dykes. Seepage rates
were estimated for several dyking districts through an analysis of pumping and
meteorlogical records. A seepage rate of 180 cubic feet per month per foot dyke per
foot head was found for Pitt Polder, which was the only district in this area for which
suitable records were available. Four up-river districts studied showed higher
seepage rates of 300 to 400 cubic feet per month per foot dyke per foot head, probably due to more pervious dyke foundation material. Using the information obtained in this study, seepage rates were assigned to other dyked areas for use in the
subsequent study concerning the effect of river regulation on drainage of these areas.
For this latter study, pumping records of seven dyking districts between Pitt
River and Agassiz were studied to determine the effect that Fraser River regulation
would have on annual pumping costs. Mean monthly river-levels at each district
were calculated for both natural and regulated conditions. Existing annual pumping costs were then adjusted to compensate for regulated conditions of pump lift,
pump efficiency, and seepage. Also, since many districts rely on gravity drainage,
particularly during winter months, an estimate of the effect of regulation on floodgate operation was required. Results of the study showed substantial decreases in
annual pumping costs in some up-river districts, while districts down-stream of
Mission showed little change. The effect of higher regulated winter levels on winter
flooding conditions was investigated through analysis of several typical storms.
Such flooding conditions occur when natural drainage is restricted or blocked by high
Fraser River levels and pump capacities are insufficient to cope with accumulated,
storm run-off behind the dykes. This study indicated, for districts in the Mission
area, that increases in peak flood levels behind the dykes were as much as 1 foot for
storms occurring between January and March. A corresponding increase in duration of flooding for these districts was also noted. Winter flooding conditions for
dyking districts down-stream of Port Hammond would be little affected by regulation.
Part of the above analysis of pumping records included a comparison of actual
electricity consumption with theoretical values obtained using the pump manufacturer's curves. In most cases a close agreement between the two values was obtained. However, two districts—Hatzic-Dewdney and Sumas—revealed a billed
consumption about 50 per cent greater than the theoretical consumption. In the
hope of explaining this discrepancy, a performance test was made on the Hatzic-
Dewdney pumps. Results of this test showed a close agreement with the pump
manufacturer's head-discharge curve, indicating a much lower over-all efficiency
than anticipated.
Fraser River Basin Flood-control Benefit Study
A two-year study for the Fraser River Board to determine the value of preventing flood damage in the Fraser River basin was completed in 1963.   An appraisal of
the potential flood damage was carried out for the areas subject to flooding in the
Lower Fraser Valley (which included all areas presently protected by dykes) and at
Kamloops, Quesnel, and Prince George. From air photographs and field inspections, an inventory was made of all structures and cultivated lands in these flood-
prone areas. The inventory was used to estimate the physical damage that would be
sustained under various depths of flooding, on the assumption that no protective
works existed. The losses of income and other losses that would result from the
same conditions were also estimated, although there was not enough information to
predict the amount of secondary losses of income and productivity that occur outside
the flooded areas because of the influence of flood conditions and the value of
intangibles such as the loss of human life. Information available on flood levels
and on the expectancy of specific floods was used to determine the damage that
would have occurred in the base year 1961 under any particular flood condition if no
control-works had been provided. Graphs were constructed to show the relationship between flood frequency and potential damage, from which it was possible to
find the average annual damage that could be expected if the region were not protected.
The value of preventing all floods to the specified limits of protection is equal in
value to the damage that would otherwise occur, hence the measurable benefit
accruing to flood-control projects in the Fraser River basin could be found from
the regional damage-frequency curves for the life of the project as well as under
extreme conditions.
Flooding in the Kamloops Area
The study of flooding in the Kamloops area, carried out on behalf of the Fraser
River Board, was completed this year. The terms of reference were to determine
the effect on flooding in the Kamloops area of (1) development of the Clearwater
system as an integral part of the Fraser River basin flood control and hydro-electric
scheme, and (2) lowering Kamloops Lake level through improvements to the river
channel down-stream from the lake outlet.
Flood-routing studies through the proposed Clearwater development, carried
out by the Fraser River Board, indicate a reduction in the design flood from 161,000
cubic feet per second (75-year frequency) to 117,500 cubic feet per second. It was
found that the resultant lower water levels eliminate the danger of flooding in the
Kamloops area. The average annual damage prevented is $87,800, having a present
value of $1,490,000 when capitalized over 50 years at 5Vi per cent interest.
Regulation of Kamloops Lake through improved outlet and down-stream
channel enlargement was considered as an alternative solution to the flooding problem at Kamloops. The maximum practical channel improvements, the cost of which
was not estimated, extending some 3 miles down-stream from the lake outlet, would
provide sufficient lake regulation to control the 1948 flood of 145,000 cubic feet per
second (27-year frequency) and would very appreciably reduce the design flood
damage. Thus, at the design flood limit, the average annual damage prevented is
$80,000 having a present value of $1,350,000 when capitalized over 50 years at
5Vi per cent interest.
The effect of down-stream regulation on the regime of the river through Kamloops has not been studied in detail, other than to indicate that mean velocities might
be increased by 20 per cent during the flood period. Since erosion is already
apparent in both branches and the main stem of the Thompson River, a careful
examination of these trouble spots, as well as the various bridge foundations, would
be required prior to any proposed change in the river regime.
H. I. Hunter, Meteorologist, Chief of Hydrology Division
Snow Surveys
The Province-wide snow-course network, first established in 1935, was expanded further in 1963. At present 139 courses are measured at regular sampling
dates during the snow accumulation and depletion periods. Although most courses
are located on Columbia and Fraser drainages, the network now includes measurement-sites on some of British Columbia's more isolated watersheds. The results
of these surveys are contained in the six issues of the British Columbia Snow Survey
Bulletin under publication dates of February 1st, March 1st, April 1st, May 1st,
May 15th, and June 1 st. The earlier issues of each year provide a comparison with
records of previous years both with respect to snow conditions and related meteorological data. In the April 1st bulletin, forecasts are made of the volume run-off
during the ensuing four or five months for a number of the major watersheds. Such
forecasts are modified in the later publications if necessary in accordance with the
actual discharges that are recorded after April 1st.
In 1963 five new snow courses were installed, all in the northern regions of
the Province. These were Summit Lake, Dease Lake, and Cassiar on the Liard
River drainage, Pink Mountain on the Peace River watershed, and Atlin Lake on
the Yukon River watershed. Snow measurements from these sites will be used in
future years to develop forecast relationships for Northern British Columbia rivers.
The summer work also included the brushing and cleaning out of 20 of the existing
snow courses to ensure accurate snow-sampling. During the winter of 1962/63,
36 snow courses were visited to provide at-site training of local snow surveyors.
Seasonal stream-flow forecast procedures are developed by multiple regression,
with the Provincial Government's electronic computer doing the mathematical computations. This is a continuing programme with the development of revised and
new procedures and requiring considerable time in the preparation of data for computer use. Office work also includes administration of the snow-survey network,
with some 90 observers involved in the measuring programme. Among these are
not only local people employed on a part-time basis, but also personnel of cooperating agencies, with whom close liaison is maintained.
In the past year, water-supply forecast procedures have been worked out with
organizations such as MacMillan, Bloedel and Powell River Limited, British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, and the Aluminum Company of Canada Limited
with respect to the watersheds of particular concern to these agencies. Co-operation has also been maintained with the Soil Conservation Service of the United
States Department of Agriculture through the exchange of hydrological data and
in the development of forecast procedures for international gauging-sites in the
Columbia River basin.
Hydrologic Studies
With only a few exceptions, all the water projects of the Water Investigations
Branch involve time-consuming compilation and analysis of the available hydro-
meteorologic data which are required for engineering studies. It would be very
advantageous if more hydro-meteorologic data were available for engineering purposes and in more usable form. Efforts are being made in this direction as much
as staff limitations permit.
A regional flood magnitude and frequency study in the Lower Fraser Valley
was undertaken.    Based on the observed winter peak flood discharges and also
 EE 66
storm precipitation, which data are made available by the agencies of the Federal
Government, attempts were made to develop a method of evaluating the flood discharges of any site within the area under study.   The study is continuing.
A limited study and field investigation is also under way with respect to flood
flows in Bowker Creek and the Greater Victoria area. This programme is carried
out in co-operation with the Municipality of Saanich. Three gauging-stations have
been installed, and discharge measurements will be undertaken.
Hydrometric Records Compilation
Records of stream stages and dicharges are obtained by the Federal Water
Resources Branch of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources
under a cost-sharing agreement with the Water Resources Service. Each year an
assessment is made by the two organizations with respect to existing and proposed
hydrometric stations.
At present all records are published in the Federal water resources papers on
a water-year basis (October to September, inclusive), and within each paper the
rivers and lakes are listed according to their respective watershed. Work has commenced to review the past records and to reassemble same by streams and gauging-
Liard River Basin Suspended Sediment
A limited study of the suspended sediment load of the Liard River drainage
system was made in 1961, when 86 samples were collected from random stage, single samplings at two cross-sections on the Liard and at one cross-section on each
of seven of its tributaries. An additional sampling programme was carried out
between May 22 and May 28, 1963. One hundred and twenty-six samples were
collected during this period, 74 from the Liard at Lower Post and the remainder
from the Coal, Hyland, Upper Liard, and Muskwa Rivers. Analyses of the samples
were made by the British Columbia Research Council, and the results of the 1963
programme are summarized in tabular form, as follows:—
Date of
Sampling, 1963
Drainage Area
(Sq. Miles)
Water Discharge
(P.P.M. by
(1,000 Tons
per Day)
Liard (Lower)   .	
Liard (Lower) ___ _  	
May 22
May 23
May 24
May 27
May 25
May 26
May 26
May 28
423 1
Liard (Upper) _.	
The first three sets of samples were collected from the Liard at Lower Post on
rising water stage. In all other instances, sampling was carried out on falling water
E. Livingston, Geological Engineer, Chief of Ground Water Division
The collection of available data on existing water wells and ground-water use
is continuing, and efforts are being made to collect water-well records from all the
available sources. To date a total of 9,500 well cards and 74 well location maps
have been completed.   Information on ground-water quality is being assembled by
loaning field test kits to a number of drilling contractors under the condition that
they furnish information on water quality from any new wells drilled.
A network of observation wells established in 1962 consists of 19 wells in the
Lower Fraser Valley and further observation wells near Comox, Nanaimo, Sidney,
Vernon, Kelowna, and Kamloops. Water-table elevation is measured once a month.
There is an increasing interest in the Province for information covering the use and
development of ground-water. A number of inquiries were received from individuals, consultants, and drilling firms throughout the Province. As there seemed to be
no suitable publication available to deal with general ground-water use problems,
a pamphlet entitled " Practical Information on Ground-water Development" was
compiled, and 500 copies of it were printed in October, 1963. The pamphlet has
been distributed to various Government agencies and to most of the British Columbia well-drillers.
A number of investigations involving mapping, and in some cases water-well
inventories and test drilling, were carried out in 1963, as summarized below.
Okanagan Well Inventory
A well inventory and also some geologic mapping in the North Okanagan
Valley from Vernon to Enderby, at Rutiand, and at South-east Kelowna were undertaken by a geologist employed during the summer months. In the future it is
intended to carry out test drilling in these areas in connection with local water-supply
West Grand Forks Test Drilling
An investigation of the feasibility of using ground-water for irrigation on the
recently purchased Doukhobor lands west of Grand Forks, started in 1962, was
continued with the drilling of seven test-holes under contract. One of the test-holes
was completed as a production well and was test-pumped. This work indicates that
it is feasible to use wells as a source of irrigation water.
Point Grey Ground-water Study
An investigation into the role of ground-water in contributing to erosion of the
sea cliffs at Point Grey was started in 1962. This was continued in 1963 and broadened to check the feasibility of using ground-water to supplement the water supply at
the University of British Columbia. Five test-holes were drilled by the Department
of Highways on the University Endowment Lands. One well was also test-pumped.
This well, which has a limited capacity, was turned over to the University as a source
of water for the raising of fish, as water supplied by the Greater Vancouver Water
Board has been found to be unsuitable for this purpose. The investigation indicated
that it is not feasible to intercept the ground-water and thereby reduce or eliminate
its discharge along sea cliffs.
Test Drilling near Prince George
As part of the investigation started in 1962 around Prince George, a test-hole
was drilled under a contract north of the airport. This was completed as a well and
was test-pumped. It has a very limited capacity but has been turned over to the
Airport Hill Improvement District as a source for a possible domestic water system.
Alice Siding, near Creston, Test Drilling
An investigation was carried out at Alice Siding, near Creston, to check the
feasibility of using a ground-water source for a domestic water system.   Two test-
holes were drilled under a contract; one of these was completed as a production well
and test-pumped. It has a limited capacity but may be used as a source for a
domestic system at such time as an improvement district is incorporated in that area.
Miscellaneous Investigations
In the Similkameen Valley near Keremeos a brief investigation was carried out
to check the feasibility of using ground-water as a source for irrigation water at such
time as the system of the Keremeos Irrigation District is renewed. Such a source
seems feasible, although it is not possible to conclude anything definite without some
Limited investigations, involving geological reconnaissance, were carried out at
Australian Creek, south of Quesnel, and in the South Okanagan between Vaseux
Creek and the International Boundary.
Advice was given to the British Columbia Research Council on feasibility of
constructing a sewage-disposal well at a poultry-processing plant in Surrey, where
alternative sewage-disposal methods are being studied.
A brief report and ground-water data were presented to the British Columbia
Health Department when pollution of a municipal water-supply well at Aldergrove
had been brought to our attention.
The Engineering Services of the British Columbia Forest Service was advised
on the feasibility and construction of an irrigation well at a new forest nursery near
A brief report on the ground-water conditions near a gravel pit in North Surrey was prepared. Drainage-works installed by gravel-pit operators had apparently
caused a number of nearby wells to go dry.
Two dam-sites on the west side of the Okanagan Valley were examined at the
request of the Kelowna District Engineer, Water Rights Branch. Further laboratory
tests of material underlying these dams are to be carried out.
A pumping test at a newly drilled artesian rock well in Victoria was observed
and the results analysed.
A study has been started east of the Okanagan Valley in preparation for establishing one or more observation wells at high elevation to furnish data which may be
useful in run-off prediction.
The functions of this newly formed Division of the Water Investigations Branch
fall into two main sections—((1) development of plans for water conservation on
regional or watershed basis with an immediate aim to indicate feasibility of improving the dependability of surface water supplies in areas where readily available water
supplies have been exhausted, and (2) continuation of inventory of undeveloped
hydro-electric power potential of the Province.
At the end of 1963, only one professional engineer had been assigned to each
of the above-mentioned two sections.
Similkameen Basin Water Supply
Water supplies presently available in the Similkameen River and its tributaries
during low flood periods have been fully appropriated under the existing water
licences on both sides of the International Boundary. A study has been commenced
to ascertain economic and engineering feasibility of small and medium potential
water-storage sites in the Similkameen River basin.   This study involves determina-
tion of run-off and its variation, office and field reconnaissance of potential dam-
sites, and preparation of preliminary cost estimates of more attractive potential
storage developments.
A brief field visit to the basin was undertaken in the fall of 1963, and basin-
wide run-off studies are presently being carried out.
Stikine-Dease Rivers Hydro Power
A detailed study has been commenced to determine the hydro-power potential
of the Stikine River basin, including the augmentation of its own potential by the
diversion of water from the Dease River, which is located outside the basin, into the
Tanzilla River, a tributary of the Stikine River. The purpose of the study is to
determine the amounts of firm and secondary energy which can be made available by
an integrated system of storage and power dams giving optimum economic development.
Owing to the lack of adequate stream-flow data on the Stikine River, it was
necessary to extend the existing run-off record by correlation with the Skeena River
at Usk. Further run-off determinations have been made for certain potential dam-
sites and also for different portions of the Stikine River basin.
For the purpose of determining the power potential of a power system involving
four storage and power sites, a series of flow-regulation computations was carried
out for each area that has reasonably uniform flow characteristics, so that the flow
expressed per square mile of drainage area can be reasonably applied to the entire
area or any portion of the area for which a regulation computation chart has been
prepared. These studies are continuing and will be followed by preliminary engineering investigations of the potential power-sites.
Cottonwood River Hydro Power, near Cassiar
Preliminary investigations have been commenced to determine the feasibility of
a hydro-power development on the Cottonwood River, near Cassiar, to supply the
electric-power requirements of the mining operation of Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Limited and the Cassiar townsite.
A temporary hydrometric station in the form of a staff gauge is being read, and
planning is under way to change this to an automatic recording-station when weather
conditions permit.   Air photography of the river is also proposed.
This Section of the Water Investigations Branch is performing the following
functions: To assemble and maintain engineering reports and other technical
records, general office duties of the Branch, and to undertake technical computations
arising from engineering investigations.
During 1963 some 110 engineering reports were assembled and registered in
the report library, bringing the total available reports to over 1,120. The Central
Microfilm Bureau commenced microfilming of engineering reports, and this project
is expected to be completed in early 1964.
The report library contains reports by many agencies relating to the water
resources of British Columbia, but the majority of reports on file there have been
prepared by Water Resources Service staff. The following table shows the number
of such reports and the general fields which they cover:—
Technical Reports in Library Prepared by Water Resources Service Staff
Period (Years)
Water Power
Water Supply
The Draughting Office of the Water Investigations Branch performs engineering draughting services to both the Water Investigations Branch and the Water
Rights Branch. During the past year the draughting of some 19 projects has been
completed, involving a total of 70 plans. In addition, a total of 144 autopositives
or prints from seven projects was obtained from the Topographic Division of the
Surveys and Mapping Branch, Lands Service. Other general work included the
listing of precipitation records and the making of plats of Snow Survey Bulletins.
There was continued intensive use of air photographs in preparation of engineering
investigations and reports. A total of 1,180 ah photographs was received and filed.
This number was supplemented by 348 air-photo prints, 52 enlargements, and 70
autopositives of enlargements of ah photos which were obtained from the Surveys
and Mapping Branch or the Hunting Survey Corporation.
A section is being formed for the purpose of reviewing or preparing water-
project proposals under Federal-Provincial A.R.D.A. assistance programme, and for
supervising of the construction of certain approved water projects. The Deputy
Minister of Water Resources submits A.R.D.A. water-project proposals to the
Department of Agriculture and to the Deputy Ministers' A.R.D.A. Committee for
recommendation, and if a project is approved by the Provincial and Federal
A.R.D.A. authorities, the Water Resources Service will be responsible for implementing the project.
At the end of 1963 three water projects had received Provincial-Federal approval and were under construction, as follows:—
(1) Vernon Irrigation District—reconstruction of King Edward Lake storage
(2) Scotty Creek Irrigation District—James  (Trapper)  Lake storage-dam
(3) Glenmore Irrigation District—raising of balancing-reservoir dam.
An additional 28 water-project proposals are under various stages of review.
Of these, consulting engineers have prepared preliminary reports on three proposals,
P.F.R.A. is investigating four proposed projects, and the remaining 21 proposals are
being attended to by the engineers of the Water Rights Branch or the Water Investigations Branch.
F. O. McDonald, Manager
The Southern Okanagan Lands Project operations comprise the following
water-supply systems:—
(1) Gravity irrigation system with seven booster pumps, serving some 4,800
(2) Pumped irrigation system (No. 2), serving 220 acres.
(3) Oliver domestic water-supply system.
In 1919 the British Columbia Legislature passed the Soldiers' Land Act, which
enabled the Province to purchase 22,000 acres of land from the Southern Okanagan
Land Company for the sum of $350,000. This area was thought to contain about
13,000 acres of irrigable land, a figure later reduced to 8,000, of which only 5,500
acres have ever received irrigation water. About 500 acres of the total arable area
are valley bottom-land that requires no irrigation. All the S.O.L.P. lands are within
the boundaries of Lot 2450 (S.), which extends some 18 miles north from the International Boundary and includes the Villages of Osoyoos and Oliver.
Construction of the gravity irrigation system was completed in 1924, using
water diverted from the Okanagan River at Mclntyre Bluff. The diversion dam was
reconstructed under the Okanagan Flood-control Act in 1956. The main concrete
diversion canal is 22.3 miles in length with a slope in the neighbourhood of 1:4,000.
In the upper reach, the main canal has a capacity of some 170 cubic feet per second,
and its bottom is 8 feet in width with side slopes at 1:1. Main gullies and depressions are crossed by means of metal or wood flumes which have a total length of 4
miles, totalling 27 in number. The Okanagan River valley is crossed by an inverted
wood-stave and riveted steel siphon having a 78-inch inside diameter.
The laterals from the main canal, 28 in number, have a combined length of
some 42 miles, varying in size from 4 to 24 inches. Seven booster pumps force the
water to higher levels, irrigating a total of some 950 acres. The laterals are mainly
constructed of plain concrete pipe, which was made locally. Many of the major
components of the system are due for renewal, and an expensive programme of reconstruction will be required during the next 5 or 10 years.
In 1949 a 220-acre tract of land at the east side of the valley approximately
4 miles south of Oliver, now called S.O.L.P. No. 2, was placed under irrigation.
Water is pumped from the Okanagan River to some 20 parcels of land.
The S.O.L.P. irrigation system was designed to supply 2.5 acre-feet of water
per acre per year with an irrigation season of 120 days. As the irrigable acreage
was considerably less than anticipated, the system has had surplus capacity, which,
in turn, has permitted an increase in the irrigation-water allowance, particularly in
the Osoyoos area where the soils are light. This has also resulted in excessive irrigation with consequent seepage problems. These have been studied in the Osoyoos
area, and certain drainage improvements have been carried out in the recent past.
The S.O.L.P. irrigation systems have a total of 680 irrigation and some 100
garden sprinkling connections. It is estimated that approximately 75 per cent of
the area is under sprinkler irrigation, and that some 60 per cent of the land receives
pressure water supply from individual pumps.
Oliver domestic water-supply system was installed in 1920. At the present
time the water is pumped from the Okanagan River through a buried intake. The
pumping plant of 130 horsepower has an installed capacity of 1,500 gallons per
minute.   The system has three wood-stave storage tanks with a combined capacity
of 180,000 gallons. There are at the present time 585 domestic, 84 commercial,
and 7 industrial connections, and 74 fire-hydrants. Eighty-seven homes are served
outside the boundaries of the Oliver Village.
The Southern Okanagan Lands Project has been operated under a vote passed
by the Provincial Legislature annually, based on estimates submitted by the Project
manager. All revenue from irrigation and domestic water charges, land sales and
leases, etc., has gone into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Province, and disbursements to the Project have been made from the same source without any relation
to the revenues received from the Project. For many years in the past the Project's
expenditures have exceeded the revenue.
The Southern Okanagan Lands Project was administered by the Department of
Lands and Forests up until April, 1956, when it was transferred to the Department
of Agriculture, which held this responsibility until April, 1963, when the Project was
transferred to the Water Resources Service.
The Project was managed from 1919 to 1925 by F. H. Latimer. He was followed by H. Earle until 1928, C. A. C. Steward until 1932, D. G. McCrae until
1945, D. W. Hodsdon until 1954, and by F. O. McDonald up to the present time.
Irrigation water was turned into the main canal on May 2nd and run uninterruptedly until September 30th. Domestic water cisterns were replenished from the
irrigation system from February 17th to 20th, later than usual due to repair work of
the system. Precipitation was deficient in October, resulting in a request by many
growers for additional water.   This was supplied on November 1st to 10th.
The maintenance and renewal programme included the following work: Some
1,200 feet of Flume No. 21 was renewed during November and December, 1962.
A start was made on the drainage work in the vicinity of Richter Pass Road. In late
February, replacement was made to portions of the concrete canal sides and bottom,
suffering from frost heave and general deterioration. Replacement of rotted timber
at flume trestles was done throughout the winter. In March and April, concrete
ditches were cleaned by water jet and brushing and then received asphalt coatings.
About 3,000 feet of canal were waterproofed, using fibreglass matting imbedded in
asphalt. The full lengths of the Main Canal and of the major laterals were completely gone over by a special crew using tar kettle, burlap stripping, and fibreglass
reinforcement. Some 200 feet of Lateral G were renewed by 24-inch reinforced-
concrete pipe. New concrete footings were placed under the main siphon at the old
river channel. The pipe-line from Pump No. 2 was renewed by asbestos-cement
Oliver domestic water system received the following renewals: 913 feet of
6-inch asbestos-cement pipe on Fourth Avenue between Seventh and Fifth Streets,
812 feet of 6-inch asbestos-cement pipe on Fifth Avenue between First and Second
Streets, 463 feet of 4-inch asbestos-cement pipe on Fifth Street between Second and
Fourth Avenues, and 560 feet of 6-inch asbestos-cement pipe from the village
boundary along Fairview Road; in addition, on Seventh Street all hydrants were
connected to the asbestos-cement pipe.
On April 1, 1963, the Southern Okanagan Lands Project was transferred from
the Department of Agriculture to the Water Resources Service. A cost accounting
system for the Project's expenditures was initiated under guidance from the officers
of the Water Resources Service. An engineering investigation into the operations of
the gravity irrigation system was undertaken by the Water Investigations Branch of
the Water Resources Service.
EE 75
Ten new lots, totalling 99.75 acres, seven on Testalinden Creek fan and three
on Reed Creek fan, were sold at public auction by the Superintendent of Lands,
Lands Service.
The annual revenue of the Project is as follows:—
Irrigation-water charges	
Domestic-water charges 	
Land sales 	
Sundry (topsoil, gravel, etc.)_
FISCAL YEARS   1935-1963
FISCAL YEAR  1962- 1963
*9 1990 1953
■ISCAL.   >E*BS     tEHD.NS    MARCH. St**)
Plate 7.
EE 79
M. B. Maclean, B.Com., Departmental Comptroller
Revenue from water rentals and recording fees amounted to $1,935,778.43 for
the calendar year 1963 and was derived from the following sources:-
Domestic, incidental use and fees
Funds held on application
Water-licence rental is payable annually, and the billing (except for power) is
issued early in January of each year. As of December 31, 1963, the Branch has on
file 17,869 licences involving approximately 14,500 accounts.
The apparent decrease in revenue from 1962 to 1963 is explained by the fact
that in 1962 the Water Rights Branch received some $280,000 in application fees
and first year's rental from the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority for the
Portage Mountain project. Licences were issued in December, 1962, with the result
that rentals for practically the whole of 1963 had in effect been paid in advance.
The initial annual rentals for the project amount to $127,809.50, which will show up
in the 1964 figures.
Comparison of Water Rentals and Recording Fees Revenue for 10-year
Period 1954-63, Inclusive
1954 ■KMK $813,413.61
1955 mmm^^m 849,980.00
1956 wnonn 1,081,592.07
1957 mmmmmmmmm 1,152,370.05
1958 BnawnnM 1,256,004.37
1959 ■■EBBnHH 1,363,939.33
1960 HnHtBHBI 1,510,277.86
1961 manmmmmmmmmmKBBmmmmm 1,853,653.18
1962 BHMHHnHHHI 2,115,738.00
1963 ■■n.-.l-H^nM^BBM 1,935,778.43
Ten-year average, $1,393,274.69.
J. H. Palmer, B.A., B.Com., Personnel Officer
An active year in personnel matters was recorded in 1963, owing principally to
the addition of 29 new positions to the permanent establishment of the Department,
to the commencement of work under the A.R.D.A. programme, and to the transfer
of the Southern Okanagan Lands Project from the Department of Agriculture to this
Department. These factors and normal turn-over resulted in the total of personnel
actions listed below:—
Casual employees transferred to permanent staff  14
New recruits for permanent staff  16
Promotional competitions (6 of which involved transfers)  11
Internal transfers      2
Transfers to other departments (pending)     2
Resignations      6
Civil Service casual appointments and (or) terminations     9
Departmental appointments and (or) terminations  23
Reclassifications     9
Promotions included the following key positions: Mr. T. A. J. Leach was
appointed Engineer 6 in the position Assistant Chief, Water Investigations Branch;
Mr. R. G. Harris was appointed Engineer 5, to head the Water Supply and Investigations Division; Mr. W. K. A. Dobson was appointed Engineer 4, in charge of
A.R.D.A. projects; and Mr. D. E. Smuin was appointed Administrative Officer 2
and placed in charge of the newly created Water Licensing Division.
New appointments to the staff include 10 engineers, of whom Messrs. G. F.
Cox, J. C. Purnell, C. Wild, and P. E. Jarvis had previous engineering experience.
The Department was also fortunate in obtaining the services of Dr. J. C. Foweraker,
a specialist in ground-water, and of Mr. J. D. Watts, who transferred from the Public
Utilities Commission. The remaining engineers were recruited as engineers-in-
training, principally from the University of British Columbia.
Other organizational changes of note included the appointment of Mr. M. L.
Zirul as Chief of the District Engineers Division so that he may devote full time to
the supervision of engineering problems and district office work.
The resignation of Mr. J. P. Riley, Engineer 5 (Fraser River), was accepted
with regret. Mr. Riley is returning to university to take his doctorate in engineering.
Formal staff-training programmes included a two-week Snow Hydrology
Training Course at Portiand, Ore., for Mr. H. I. Hunter, Meteorologist, and the completion by Mr. M. L. Zirul of the three-year Public Administration Course under the
sponsorship of the Civil Service Commission and the University of British Columbia.
Mr. W. R. Tuthill completed the second year of the latter course, and Mr. R. G.
Harris and Mr. C. K. Harman completed the first year. Mr. J. T. Gulliver commenced the first year of this course in September.
The staff at the end of the year comprised the following:—
Civil Servants  951
Casual employees  11
Southern Okanagan Lands Project employees  20
Fraser River Board employees  10
i Excluding 6 vacancies.
 Printed by A. Sutton, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.


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