Keywords: Water Act – s. 10, 11, 12, 21, 27; alternative sources of water; access over private property; objections; compensation
Robert Sansom appealed a decision of the Assistant Regional Water Manager to issue a water licence to Ann Cousineau authorizing the diversion of water from Canby Spring for domestic purposes. Mr. Sansom owns the property on which Canby Spring rises. He argued that the Water Manager erred in issuing the licence without first investigating alternative water sources and without ensuring that Ms. Cousineau had legal access to the spring. Mr. Sansom asked for the licence to be cancelled or, alternatively, amended to require that the existing water line be upgraded and reinstalled, that restrictions be placed on access, that compensation for access be paid and an indemnity provided. He also asked for costs to be awarded against the Respondent.
The Panel found that there was no legal requirement for the Assistant Manager to investigate or consider alternative water sources before issuing the licence. The Panel also found that the Water Act does not confer any power on the Water Manager with respect to access over private property. Legal access to the spring must be obtained by the licensee through negotiations with the property owner, or in accordance with the expropriation provisions of the Water Act. The Panel found the existing water line was not in need of alteration or relocation at this time and that there were provisions in the Act to address future problems. Finally, the Panel held that it did not have authority to order compensation or indemnity. The licence was upheld. The application for costs was denied. The appeal was dismissed.