Rainbow Ranche Collection

Notes of evidence, March 2, 1925 [unknown] Mar 2, 1925

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HOTBS of the evidence given before the Board of Investigation on March 2 and 3, 1925, on the hearing relative to the
complaint of the water-users that the tolls demanded by the Okanagan Centre Irrigation & Power Company, Limitied, are excessive.
At Winfield School House, Winfield, B# C#
March 2, 1925.
Present:  J*S*T. Alexander and J.E* Lane of the
Board.
Major J.C« MacDonald and Mr. Horrington.
Mr* T# Qc.  Norris appears for the water-
users.
Mr. J. J. Warrsn and Mr. Lpgie, President and Manager, respectively, of the Company, appear
H for the Company.
Counsel for the water-users explains their complaint and
files Exhibits lf 2, 3 and 4, being forms of land agreements and
water agreements entered into by the Company and its predeeessor-
in-title. He contends that the Company does not own the irrigation system. He explains in detail the users1 objections to
various clauses of the form of water agreement and contends the
agreement is unreasonable, arbitrary and unduly restrictive. He
suggests that a conveying licence might be issued to Company and
all necessary terms and conditions embodied in it and agreements
made ineffective.
Mr. Warren relates the history of the projects now operated by the Okanagan Valley Land Company and the Okanagan Centre
Irrigation and Power Company. He contends that the irrigation
company owns the irrigation system. He submits that the Board
has no jurisdiction to alter or in any way effect the terms of
the water agreement except as specified in clause (a) of subsection
(l) of section 310 of the ,T Water Act," that while the Board may
have power to fix the tolls, determine the ruantity of water to be
delivered and order improvement of the service, it cannot make an
order nullifying or affecting the ether terms of the water agreements.
Counsel for the water-users proceeds to deal With the
users' complaints as set out in his letter of August 6, 1924,--
Gomplaint $©. 1- That the water agreement is unreasonable
etc.- 1 acre-feet of water per acre insufficient, point of delivery
should be highest point of irrigable land, claims against
Company waived, no compensation to user in certain cases,
Company allowed to undertake to supply more land resulting in user being deprived of proper supply.
Complaint Ho. 2- That the Company has no status under
n  Water Act,w- has no conveying licence. Mr. Warren
admits this.
Complaint No. 3- That the Company is not financially
sound. Mr. Norris files Exhibits 5 and 6, being annual
statements for 1923 of the Land Company and the Water
Company and asks that Company be ordered to set up a depreciation fund to provide for the replacement of the
system as it wears out.
Complaint Ho. 4- That the Company is now delivering water
to lands not under licence, namely, Wast Half of East Half
of Sec- 10, thereby making it impossible for users to get
i o o
adequate supply. Mr. Warren says there are no agreements respecting these lands.
Complaint No. 5- That the Company has not fulfilled its
agreements to supply water.
Mr. Thompson called. Mr. Warren waives witness being sworn.
Supervisor under Soldier Settlement Board—knows the
property held by P* Hiley under the S* S# B. (10 acres).
In 1920 the water supply was unsatisfactory.  Company's
manager then admitted that trouble due to inefficiency of
that portion of system.  In August, 1924, Hiley got water
for two acres. Mr. Gibbons said it was a mistake for the
Company to have sold Hileyfs land as irrigable.
Mr. Logie explains that Hiley is in arrears in payment of tolls,
He admits that pipe through whiih Hiley's supply would be
carried is in bad condition.
Hearing adjourned till 10:30
March 3. 1925.
March 3. Hearing continued.
Mr* Coates called, sworn.
Am ditch rider for Company—know Hiley's property.  I
offered Riley water on Saturdays and Sundays last year--
couldn't supply him on other days because of many users
on that pipe. When Company is irrigating the north
eighty acres or Davidson or Gibbons' lots are being irrigated, water won't reach Hiley's property.
Complaint Ho. 6- That the Company sold land as irrigable
and then refused to put in extension to deliver water to
it.
Mr. Norris files Exhibit 10—letter from Company
to Secretary School Board 24th June, 1922; Exhibit 11—
copy of letter Norris and McWilliams to Mr* Gibbons Aug.v
17 1923; Exhibit IE—letter Mr* Warren to Norris and
McWilliams Sept. 12, 1923; Exhibit 13--letter Mr. Hayburn
to E.G. Shanks Sept. 4, 1919.
E*C. Shanks sworn—farmer and secretary of School Board.
The School Board bought 4 acres from Company for $ 600*00—
understood water was to be supplied—didn't ask for water
agreement.  Hayburn Company's manager at the time of purchase said water would be supplied to the school.  I
understand now that there is not water licence appurtenant to this land.  There were no orchard trees or other
improvements on the land,--only a few pine trees there.
Mr. Logie explains that when he found there was no licence
appurtenant to the school site, he refused to put in the
extension but Company intends to put it in as soon as
transfer of appurtenancy is made. This expenditure is
in Company's estimates for this year.
Complaint No. 7- That the Company's rates are excessive.
Mr. Norris asks Board to take note of the rates charged by the
irrigation districts where 2^- aers-feet are delivered.
Mr. Logie submits that rates are too low—Company can't carry
on at present rates. There are about 2,000 acres paying
tolls--300 of this owned by Land Company, which pays on
\ 3. tWtSp^Ipp
average or^f 9.00 per acre for l£ acrL-feet--estimates Company
should have f 25,000 revenue,
§ 15,000 for interest on investment, and
10,000 for maintenance and operation, I.e.
4,000 for operation and $ 6,000 for maintenance repairs and renewals.
The irrigation rates are payable in May but less than half
are paid then—many pay in February or March of following
year.
Complaint No. 8- That the quantity of water to be delivered
under the water agreements is unduly restricted.
Mr. Norris submits that one acre-foot per acre is not sufficient
to grow crops.
Mr. Keane, Jr., sworn.  I operate my father's farm at Winfield—
we grow cover crops and could use 3 acre-feet of water per
acre.  In 1922, we had to disc in our cover crop prematurely and in 1923 and 1924 we disced it dnrearly because of
the uncertainty of supply and the trees needed all the
water we were getting.  I had trouble with leakage from a
pipe in 1922, much ice formed in the winter of 22-23, an
attempt was made by the Company to repair it in the spring
of '23 but it broke out again that summer. Another attempt
at repairing it was made in the spring of 1924 and recently
the pipe was disconnected and plugged* Now we have no
water for domestic use. The measuring boxes on users' lands
have metal lips on the weirs but 8 out of 10 of those on
Company's land have no metal lips.  In most of the measuring boxes on the company's lands there is a difference of
3/4 of an inch from those on users' lands.
Cross examined by Mr. Logie:
I pay no domestic water rates.
Mr. Y.R. McBonagh sworn, fruitgrower on Lots 16 and 17 under.the
Company's system.  Cover crops cannot be grown successfully
with less than 2|r acre-feet of water per acre and, in my
opinion, cover e^ops are absolutely necessary unless chemical fertilizers are used.
Mr. Logic says in practice there is no restriction in the use of
water, company supplied all the water the system will carry
while there is water available.
Complaint No. 9-
Mr. Norris puts in Exhibit 8, beingaa letter from Mr. P.W* Groves
to the Company giving Mr. Groves' opinion of the capacity
of the Company's system and the requirements of the lands
irrigated from it.
Mr. Logie says that in 1924 the Gompany delivered all the water
asked for and gave satisfactory service.
Complaint No. 10:
Mr. Norris submits Company has no waterworks licence and he says he
is prepared to discuss the schedule with a committee of the
users.
Complaint No. 11- That the Company is wasting water.
Mr. V*H. McBonagh still under oath-there are two open main ditehesih
the Company's system, each about one mile in length, one in a gravelly subsoil—there must be considerable loss in these ditches—I
haven't examined these ditches recently for indications of seepage.
Complaint No. 12- dealt with under 10.
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Hearing adjourned. -v-<-
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