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Recent Media Coverage of the Columbia River Treaty

October 6, 2022 - Conclusion of Round 14 of Negotiations to Modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime - U.S. Department of State

The United States hosted the 14th round of negotiations with the Government of Canada to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime in Spokane, Washington October 4-5. As a result of our discussions, we have been able to find common ground on aspects of flood risk management, hydropower coordination, ecosystem cooperation, and increased Canadian operational flexibility. We will continue to work to address outstanding issues in these areas the coming months. Full article...


October 6, 2022 - Minister’s statement on 14th round of Columbia River Treaty negotiations - British Columbia Government

Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, has issued the following statement:  “During this week’s round of Columbia River Treaty negotiations, Canada and the United States have been able to find common ground on some aspects of ecosystem co-operation, increased flexibility for how Canada operates its treaty dams, hydropower co-ordination and flood-risk management. The Canadian delegation, which includes the Government of Canada, the Province of B.C. and the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx Okanagan Nations, will continue to focus on outstanding issues in these areas over the coming months to address Columbia Basin interests.  Full article...


October 6, 2022 - Columbia River Treaty modernization concludes 14th round of negotiations - Castlegar News

The 14th round of talks to modernize the Columbia River Treaty were held in Spokane earlier this week and concluded with an Indigenous-led workshop on ecosystem and tribal cultural values.  In a statement, Katrine Conroy, the BC minister responsible for the negotiations, said all sides were able to come to mutual understanding on some of the terms up for renegotiation. Full article...


October 5, 2022 - Salmon advocates ask to include healthy ecosystems in Columbia River Treaty - NW News Network

Salmon advocates want negotiators to consider salmon and the Columbia River’s ecosystem as a part of an agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

The agreement, known as the Columbia River Treaty, is around 60 years old. It coordinates flood control and hydropower along the Columbia River. During renegotiations, the United States has asked to modernize the treaty, including considerations for climate change. Full article...


October 4, 2022 - An old treaty with Canada costs Tacoma Power customers money. It’s time for a new deal - The News Tribune

The Columbia River Treaty was created 58 years ago to ensure the mutual development of the Columbia River for flood control and related coordinated power systems in the U.S. and Canada. But it’s time to revisit the provisions of the treaty, which cost Tacoma Power and other Northwest utility customers more for their electricity.  Full article...


September 29, 2022 - What’s at stake if the Columbia River Treaty were to end - OPB

Barb Cosens is a member of the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance and a university distinguished professor emerita at the University of Idaho College of Law. She joins us to share why this treaty was enacted, what options exist as we approach the 2024 deadline and what’s at stake if agreements to extend the treaty can’t be made. Full article...


September 22, 2022 - Pacific Northwest Groups Urge Action On Modernizing Columbia River Treaty, Concerned About Uncertainties of ‘Called-Upon’ Operations - The Columbia Basin Bulletin (paywall)

Nearly three-dozen Pacific Northwest organizations have sent a letter to the State Department and other federal agencies urging the Biden Administration to better inform the region on efforts to overhaul the 1964 U.S.-Canada Columbia River Treaty, add “ecosystem function” as a treaty purpose, and include Columbia River basin Tribes in treaty governance. The letter also expresses concerns about potential “called-upon” river operations if the treaty is not modernized by 2024.  Full article...


September 19, 2022 - Environmental groups urge update of Columbia River Treaty - Capital Press

Pacific Northwest groups representing conservation, clean energy, wildlife, fish and other interests are urging U.S. officials to modernize the Columbia River Treaty to avoid what they describe as an ecosystem collapse. Full article...


August 16, 2022 - Latest round of talks conclude over Columbia River Treaty negotiations - Castlegar News

Another round of Columbia River Treaty talks has concluded between Canada and the United States, as efforts continue to modernize a decades-old water sharing agreement between the two countries. Full article...


June 22, 2022 - Indigenous-led ecosystem studies a key element of Columbia River Treaty talks - Creston Valley Advance

While the Columbia River Treaty was borne out of a flood control and power generation agreement, the negotiations for the modernization of the international water-sharing agreement have included a third principle of ecosystem function.  Full article...


June 16, 2022 - DeFazio-Led Bipartisan Water Resources Development Act Passes House - The Bandon Western World

The bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022), legislation led by Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 384 to 37.   Full article...


May 27, 2022 - Columbia River Treaty modernization talks remain ongoing - Arrow Lakes News

Canada and the United States continue to negotiate the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty, as delegations with both sides have met informally four times this spring to advance the discussions.   Full article...


May 19, 2022 - Public info session being held to update Columbia River Treaty talks -

Over 200 people participated from across the Columbia Basin in last Monday’s Columbia River Treaty Information Session, ‘Canada-U.S. Negotiations: Where We Are and What’s to Come.’   Full article..


April 28, 2022 - Public info session being held to update Columbia River Treaty talks - Castlegar News

Members with the Canadian delegation involved in the Columbia River Treaty negotiations will be participating in a virtual public information session to provide updates on the status of the talks and field any questions from participants.   Full article...


March 27, 2022 - Treaty talks for assured flood control have impacts in Nelson and area: province - The Nelson Daily

Time may be expiring on the Columbia River Treaty but a stream of issues to continue workability between Canada and the U.S. won’t be water under the bridge just yet.  Sixty years of Assured Flood Control is set to expire in 2024 but the two countries have been in talks to modernize the historical transboundary agreement since May 2018, covering a range of topics over the course of 10 rounds of meetings.   Full article...


July 30, 2021 - Canada given top marks for Columbia River Treaty public engagement - Nelson Star

The way Canada has engaged with its public on the Columbia River Treaty is getting high praise from a group of American-based environmental and citizen groups.   Full article..


August 28, 2020 - OPINION: As Columbia River Treaty negotiators get serious, residents need to speak up - Nelson Star

Early this summer, Canada and the United States met for the 10th round of Columbia River Treaty renegotiations. The negotiations were held by web-conference due to COVID-19. Unlike previous rounds, negotiators actually started debating specific proposals.   Full article..


July 2, 2020 - How (and why) to fix the U.S.-Canada Columbia River Treaty - Columbia INSIGHT

On June 30, the U.S. State Department and government of British Columbia issued a pair of surprising press releases regarding the latest round of Columbia River Treaty negotiations. The brief statements were surprising because few people even knew the tenth round of treaty negotiations, held June 29-30 via web conference, had even taken place. Full article..


July 5, 2019 - Renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty, six decades later - High Country News

How will bolstered support for tribal sovereignty and the environment change the U.S.-Canada agreement?   Full article..


June 27, 2019 - Tribes that rely on Columbia River being left out of talks between U.S. and Canada. Why? - Crosscut

The U.S. and Canada are renegotiating a 60-year-old treaty that dictates usage rights for the river.  Environmentalists and indigenous groups, meanwhile, would like to see more water flow through the Columbia to support healthier fish stocks, a goal that might be achieved if so-called “ecosystem-based function” is added as a pillar of the modernized treaty.  Full article..


May 20, 2019 - U.S. must follow Canada and invite tribes into Columbia River Treaty negotiation - Seattle Times

Since 1964, the Columbia River Treaty has played a key role in governing river flows and management priorities in the trans-boundary Columbia River Basin. Since last May, the U.S. and Canada have been negotiating a new deal for the treaty, which will help direct the basin’s future. The discussion surrounding this negotiation and who gets to participate reveals what has changed in the past 55 years — and what remains the same.   Full article..


April 12, 2019 - U.S. and Canada continue to talk Columbia River Treaty - Nelson Star

Katrine Conroy says flood risk and hydro power were topics of discussion.  The B.C’s minister responsible for the Columbia River Treaty says Canadian and American negotiators exchanged ideas on flood risk and hydropower during this week’s meetings in Victoria.     Full article..