• John and Arlene Liket v. Assistant Regional Water Manager

    Decision Date:


    File Numbers:
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    Third Party:
    Joan and David Niederauer; Peter Hope Lake Strata; Gerard Guichon Ranch Ltd.; Fish and Wildlife Section (Ministry of Environment); Lillian Mitchell; Robert and Marlene Taylor, Third Parties


    Decision Date: July 22, 2008

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords:  Water Act – ss. 2, 5, 7; fully recorded; domestic use of water; licence

    John and Arlene Liket appealed a decision of the Assistant Regional Water Manager (the “Assistant Manager”), Water Stewardship Division, Ministry of Environment (the “Ministry”), refusing to issue them a licence to divert and use 500 gallons of water per day for domestic use purposes from Peter Hope Lake, located near Kamloops.  The Assistant Manager made his decision on the basis that Peter Hope Lake is fully recorded under existing licences and there is insufficient water for new licences.  The Appellants requested that the Board reverse the Assistant Manager’s decision.

    The Appellants own lakefront property on Peter Hope Lake, which is popular for fishing, wildlife viewing, and other forms of recreation.  The Appellants built a small cabin on their property in 1973, which they use periodically during the year.  Since they began using the property, the Appellants have used buckets and a hand pump to draw water from the lake for domestic use.  In 2007, they applied for a water licence for domestic use.  The Appellants estimated that they use about 6 gallons of water per day when they are at the cabin, although their application was for more than that.  The Appellants submitted that granting a licence for a small amount of water would not impact the lake.

    The Board considered whether there is enough water to grant the licence.  Based on the evidence, the Board found that there was insufficient water to meet existing licensed demand in the watershed, and therefore, no new licences for consumptive use should be granted, even for small amounts of water.  A detailed study of water availability in the Peter Hope Creek watershed was completed by the Ministry in 2006, and it concluded that the watershed had a deficit of 1021 acre-feet of water based on existing licensed demand, and therefore, no further licences should be granted.  The Board found that evidence of water availability in the watershed since that study shows that a water deficit continues to exist.

    Furthermore, there was evidence that Guichon Ranch may have to reclaim two water licences that would allow it to draw up to 1610 acre-feet of water from Peter Hope Lake.  Guichon Ranch formerly held two water licences that together authorized the diversion and use of 1610 acre-feet of water for irrigation and stock watering purposes, but in the late 1990’s it transferred those licences to the Ministry’s Fish and Wildlife Section, which is holding them for conservation purposes.  The Board heard evidence that Guichon Ranch may need to reclaim those water licences because its well has become unreliable and it has had to truck in water for its cattle.  If Guichon Ranch reclaims its water licences and withdraws water from the lake, the lake’s water level could drop by up to seven feet.

    Accordingly, the Board concluded that the Assistant Manager’s decision should be confirmed.

    The appeal was dismissed.