Keywords:Water Act – ss. 5, 10, 11, 12, 27, 29; Water Regulation – ss. 2, 3; conditional water licence; alternate water sources; diversion points
Russell Halisheff appealed the decision of the Assistant Regional Water Manager to grant a conditional water licence to Michael Halisheff. The licence authorized Michael Halisheff to divert and use water for domestic purposes from the Slocan River through works (diversion structure, tank, pump and pipeline) crossing land owned by the Appellant. The Appellant submitted that Michael Halisheff could obtain water from a source on his own property, and that the licence should not have been granted given that there were potential alternative water sources which would not affect the property rights of others.
The Board found that, in considering licence applications, there is no express requirement under section 12 of the Water Act to consider alternate sources of water supply, diversion points or works. However, the decision-maker has discretion to consider alternatives where they are relevant and appropriate to a particular licence application.
In this case, the Board found that the Assistant Regional Water Manager did request more information from Michael Halisheff about alternate water sources, diversion points and routes for works, and whether such alternatives were reasonable. He also considered how the Appellant would be affected by the licence. The Board found that the approved works and diversion point were the most practical way of supplying domestic water to Michael Halisheff, and that they did not constitute an unreasonable interference with the Appellant’s land. The Board concluded that the decision of the Regional Manager was reasonable in the circumstances. Accordingly, the appeal was denied.