PRIOR TO AUTHORIZING INTERIM COMMISSIONING OF THE TEMPORARY OPERATION PLAN, THE COMPTROLLER WILL CIRCULATE THE PLAN TO APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE BRANCH FOR INSPECTION, APPEALS DISMISSED
Panel: Linda Michaluk, Gary Robinson, Dr. Majorie Ryan
In 1988, Ron Williams was granted two conditional water licenses which allowed him to use water from Morehead Lake for irrigation and residential power needs. The permits allowed him to build a dam, raising the level of the lake by 24 inches. In 1990 Mr. Williams applied for a third conditional water licence to allow him to build and operate a hydroelectric project on the lake. In addition, the original licenses were replaced with two licenses covering the same water rights, but authorising the use of the water for the hydroelectric project. The appellants owned land near Morehead Lake and appealed all three licenses.
Because appeals under the Water Act must be filed within 30 days after the original decision is made, the Board could not consider Mr. William’s right to store water and raise the level of the lake rights which were granted in 1988. However, the amendments to the licences, and the new licence allowing a hydro-electric project, were closely examined.
The Board found that Mr. Williams followed the correct procedure in applying for his new licences. The Board also found that many of the appellants’ concerns could be dealt with by an Operation and Maintenance Plan, which would have to be approved by the Comptroller of Water Rights. These appellants were worried about the impact on the environment, the fluctuation in the lake’s water level and the effect on existing licenses. The Board ordered that an interim operation plan be shown to a representative of the Fish and Wildlife Branch before it was authorised. The appeal was dismissed.