• John Moon v. Assistant Regional Water Manager

    Decision Date:


    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    2003-WAT-010(a) 2003-WAT-011(a) 2003-WAT-012(a) 2003-WAT-013(a)
    Third Party:
    Department of National Defence, Third Party


    Decision Date: June 15, 2004

    Panel: Paul Love

    Keywords: Water Act– ss. 10, 23 water licences; multi-year storage; priority date

    John Moon appealed four decisions of the Regional Manager, Cariboo Region, Land and Water British Columbia Inc. (the “Regional Manager”) refusing applications for water licences to divert and store water for irrigation. The applications were four of six Mr. Moon made in 1988. Mr. Moon was not satisfied that water licencing personnel had handled his existing and requested licences “in an independent and objective manner.” Mr. Moon asked the Board to: 1) send the applications back to the Regional Manager with directions to fully consider multi-year storage; 2) issue licences for volumes roughly equivalent to those in the four denied applications; and 3) set priority dates for some of his current licences at 1939.

    The Board found that Mr. Moon did not provide evidence that water licencing personnel had acted in a biased or unfair manner. The Board noted that the licencing authority had competed a Water Allocation Plan for the affected watershed and had concluded that there were not sufficient flows to support the issuance of new licences.

    The Board found that Mr. Moon did not present sufficient evidence to rebut the finding of insufficient flows in the Water Allocation Plan. The Board also noted that Mr. Moon had been using less water than his existing licences permitted him to use. The Board found that multi-year storage would pose a radical departure from provincial water policy and practice for irrigation. The Board concluded that it could not order the Regional Manager to undertake the policy development and significant expenditures that would be involved to consider multi-year storage. The Board further found that Mr. Moon had not presented sufficient evidence to justify the requested change in priority dates.

    The appeals were dismissed.