International Joint Commission (IJC)
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IJC admin | 2016/05/16

Read IJC’s newsletters to stay current on how Canada and the United States are working together to manage the health and flow of the waters shared by our two countries. Read More »

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Flooding and Water Quality: A Tale of Two Studies

IJC admin | 2018/08/20

Two different projects are currently underway in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River system that will assist the International Joint Commission in responding to two recent requests from Canadian and US governments. Though in the same watershed, each project has unique objectives, funding structures, and timeframes for completion. Let’s take a closer look at both requests and what they’ll mean for people concerned about water quality and flooding. Read More »

Could Dust Impact Water Management in the West?

IJC admin | 2018/08/17

Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that dust and soot particles can speed up the melting of mountain snowpacks, potentially impacting water supplies that rely on snowmelt. Snowpack melting can now occur weeks earlier than normal in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States due to dust and climate factors. How might dust and soot impact management of water on rivers shared between the western sections of Canada and the US? Read More »

Public Voice Important Part of Souris River Study: Survey Coming Soon

IJC admin | 2018/08/17

Following a public meeting which drew about 60 people to Saskatchewan on June 25, the International Joint Commission continues to seek feedback from people living and working in the Souris River basin. Read More »

‘A River Film’ Keeps Rolling Along

IJC admin | 2018/08/17

“A River Film” is a documentary about the transboundary Okanagan/Okanogan River, but its message pertains to all rivers in the West. While the challenges of each river system are unique, there are themes common to all rivers: How we care for and protect them, how we share them, and how we work together to maintain their health. Read More »

Climate Change and Dams Present Challenges for Wild Rice at Rainy Lake

IJC admin | 2018/08/17

Wild rice has been struggling in historically fertile ground at Rainy Lake, located at the Ontario-Minnesota border. While climate change has played a role in the declining success of the notoriously sensitive plant, water level and flow management by humans has played a part, too. Read More »

New Rule Curves on the Rainy and Namakan Lakes – What’s Changed?

IJC admin | 2018/08/17

Among the winners of new rule curves for Rainy and Namakan lakes are vital fish species like cisco and lake whitefish, the water-based recreation industry and muskrats. The curves went into effect this month. Read More »

Fish Tags Help Inform Managers of Spawning Sites and Fish Passage in Red River

IJC admin | 2018/08/17

Managing sustainable fish populations in the Red River and into Lake Winnipeg requires cross-boundary cooperation and a whole lot of data about where fish are spawning, feeding and living. An ongoing binational project tagging fish to track their movements is beginning to show how invasive common carp and native species such as channel catfish, bigmouth buffalo, lake sturgeon and walleye are using their environment and where there are bottlenecks in the river network. Read More »

Story Map Helps Visualize Water Quality in Red River Basin

IJC admin | 2018/06/14

The Red River, which flows north between North Dakota and Minnesota and through southern Manitoba, isn’t the only US-Canadian waterway facing issues with pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfates. But as a watershed that spans two countries, an extra wrinkle is presented in compiling data to quantify the problem. Information from two countries, two states and one province needs to be combined to understand the extent of river conditions. Read More »

Social Science Adds Twist to Flooding Study

IJC admin | 2018/06/14

Currently in full swing, the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River flooding study is a major undertaking. Read More »

Flooding Threatens Communities Across the Transboundary

IJC admin | 2018/06/14

Heavy snowpack in the Pacific Northwest and mountainous areas to the east is leading to flooding and flood risks along the Canada-US border, though the severity depends on how quickly it melts. Read More »

Kootenay Lake Dam Getting Major Upgrades

IJC admin | 2018/06/14

The Corra Linn Dam has held water in Kootenay Lake since it was commissioned in 1932 to generate electricity from the Kootenay River. But in all that time, the dam has received only minimal upgrades, aside from those made to three generator units. Starting this summer, an extensive project will begin replacing spillway gates and improving other elements of the dam. Read More »

Highlights from the 2018 Spring Semi-Annual Meeting

IJC admin | 2018/06/14

The IJC’s Spring 2018 Semi-Annual Meeting kicked off with the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board and concluded with the Accredited Officers of the St. Mary and Milk Rivers. Read More »

Targets for St. Croix Water Flows and Lake Levels May Prove Difficult to Satisfy

IJC admin | 2018/06/13

Changes in weather patterns due to climate change could cause reservoir lake levels to go beyond minimum and maximum mandated levels in the St. Croix River system, according to a climate “stress test” recently undertaken by the International St. Croix River Watershed Board. Read More »

Excess Nutrients and Algal Blooms Focus of Study in Lakes Champlain and Memphremagog

IJC admin | 2018/06/13

The waters of Lake Champlain and Missisquoi Bay, as well as Lake Memphremagog, are a source of pride for the people of Quebec, Vermont and New York. They are home to diverse ecosystems—rich with fish and wildlife, and enjoyed by thousands of visitors. Unfortunately, they also are suffering from the effects of excess nutrients. Read More »

Next for the Souris River Study: More Public Participation

IJC admin | 2018/06/13

Flood prevention, water management and agricultural interests were popular topics during a recent public meeting and consultation on the draft Work Plan of the International Souris River Study Board (ISRSB). Read More »

Lake of the Woods Special Issue, Lake and Reservoir Management – Open Access Until March 15

IJC admin | 2018/03/01

There’s a time-limited opportunity to download key research papers that are unlocking the mystery of what is causing algae blooms on Lake of the Woods. Read More »

More Shared Waters Being Matched Up in Binational Mapping Project

IJC admin | 2018/02/20

The IJC might not exist if water stopped at the border between Canada and the United States. But rivers, streams, and lakes are not restricted by political boundaries, and for two nations and their governments to effectively manage water systems, adequately prepare for floods, apportion water and monitor climate change, they need to look at the big picture. That’s where the IJC’s data harmonization efforts come in. Read More »

Behind the Scenes of Studies on Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River

IJC admin | 2018/02/16

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is active in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin, carrying out studies to address two major issues: flooding and water quality. This is welcome news for residents who experienced the catastrophic effects of floods in 2011. News of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay and Lake Memphremagog also continue to command the attention of the public. Read More »

Public Advisory Groups Contribute to Lake Champlain and Souris River Studies

IJC admin | 2018/02/16

One of the ways that the International Joint Commission (IJC) encourages broad public participation and outreach in its scientific studies is through Public Advisory Groups, also known as PAGs. Read More »

Droughts Hit Central Basins, Testing Water Managers

IJC admin | 2018/02/16

A “flash drought” in the summer of 2017 squeezed water supplies in transboundary watersheds in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana, complicating the task of water managers to make sure everyone gets their share. Read More »

Lake of the Woods Algae and Nutrients Highlighted in Aquatic Ecosystem Health Report

IJC admin | 2018/02/15

Algae blooms during late summer and fall on Lake of the Woods remain a concern, as highlighted in a recent Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board annual Aquatic Ecosystem Health Report. Read More »

Zebra Mussels Remain a Concern in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed

IJC admin | 2018/02/15

The good news is that zebra mussels have not made it into Lake of the Woods or the Rainy River, yet. The bad news is that zebra mussels have invaded several headwaters upstream in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods basin and infested hundreds of lakes nearby, outside the basin. Read More »

Confronting the Flood Management Conundrum

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

2017 has been a brutal year for floods across the Canada-US border, and more broadly North America. Major flooding hit areas like British Columbia, Washington, Texas, Florida, New York, Ontario and Quebec due to heavy rains, snowmelt conditions, saturated soils and severe storms. 2016 also saw major flooding, including multiple billion-dollar floods in Texas and Louisiana, as did 2015. Strategies to reduce flood risks have been advocated for decades, yet by many accounts, flood damages are increasing. Why? Read More »

Watermarks from the West

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

The IJC’s Great Lakes Connection newsletter has been highlighting Watermarks for more than a year --- from Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. But these video and written testimonials are just the beginning. Read More »

‘A River Film’ Documents Beauty and Complexity of Okana(o)gan Valley

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

The line to the Oliver Theatre wrapped around the corner for the theatrical debut of “A River Film” in Oliver, British Columbia. The new movie was produced and directed by Ascent Films for the Washington State Department of Ecology, with funding through the International Joint Commission (IJC)’s International Watersheds Initiative and local support from the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB). Read More »