Keywords:Water Act – s. 23; conditional water licence; beneficial use; domestic use; notice of proposed cancellation; order of cancellation
This was an appeal of a decision of the Manager to issue an order cancelling a conditional water licence (“the Licence”) held by the Appellant and two other property owners. The Appellant appealed on the grounds that she did not receive notice of the pending cancellation and was not aware that a failure to make beneficial use of water under the terms of the Licence could result in cancellation of the Licence. The Appellant sought an order from the Board rescinding the Manager’s decision and restoring the Licence.
The Panel found that the Appellant had changed her address some time after the Licence was transferred to her name, and that she had a responsibility to notify the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks of her change of address. The Panel found that she failed to do so and that the failure of the notice to reach her was not the fault of the Ministry.
The Panel also found that that the Appellant had the opportunity to read the Licence and make inquiries about its terms long before the licence cancellation process was initiated. Furthermore, the Appellant stated that to her knowledge, there had never been beneficial use of water for the purpose and in the manner authorized under the terms of the Licence. The Panel also found that her intended use of the water was as a supplementary source of water for irrigation only, and not for domestic purposes as authorized in the Licence.
The Panel found that the Manager complied with the notice requirements of the Water Act and that the notice was sufficient. The Panel also found that the cancellation of the Licence was appropriate in the circumstances. The appeal was dismissed.