International Joint Commission (IJC)
More than a century of cooperation protecting shared waters


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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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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 »

Fall 2017 Semi-Annual Brings Together Commissioners, Boards

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

As fall descended on Ottawa, Ontario, so did a contingent of IJC staff, Commissioners and board members. The IJC held its Fall 2017 Semi-Annual Meeting in late October, a unique opportunity for face-to-face discussions that happens twice a year. Read More »

Chronicling ‘The First Century of the International Joint Commission’

IJC admin | 2017/11/21

“The First Century of the International Joint Commission” was an informative two-day conference co-hosted by Drs. Murray Clamen and Daniel Macfarlane. Read More »

Flooding and Fire in the Osoyoos Lake Area

IJC admin | 2017/11/21

Thanks to heavy precipitation and an intense snowmelt from April into June, communities in the Osoyoos Lake region, located on the border of Washington and British Columbia, contended with serious springtime flooding which indirectly led into an increased risk of wildfires from plant growth. Read More »

Western Wildfires Put Water Systems at Risk of Pollution

IJC admin | 2017/10/18

2017 has been another intense year for wildfires in the western US and Canada, placing water infrastructure in the crosshairs. After many previous years of drought, last winter brought above-average rain and snowfall for much of the West. Although the precipitation was helpful to resupply the mountain snowpack and drinking water reservoirs, it helped spur explosive spring growth of vegetation which was quickly dried out by intense summer heat and drought. Read More »

Residents Generally Supportive, But Mixed on Preferred Proposed Rainy-Namakan Rule Curves

IJC admin | 2017/09/21

Residents of the Rainy River watershed in Ontario and Minnesota expressed different preferences for new rule curves during a series of public hearings held by the IJC from Aug. 16-18. The hearings were designed to gather public input on the International Rainy-Namakan Lakes Rule Curve Study Board’s draft recommendations to the Canadian and US governments, and the IJC’s position on the proposals. Read More »

Geographic Information Systems: Resources from IJC

IJC admin | 2017/09/06

As a transboundary organization, the IJC uses maps and geospatial data to help manage water levels and conduct watershed assessment and ecological inventory analysis. Read More »

Public Concerned About Development and Response in Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Basin

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Since holding its first meeting in January, the International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board has been putting together a draft work plan to study flooding in the basin – notably the 2011 floods – and figure out what steps communities can take to mitigate future risks. The board’s mandate includes public involvement, and members held three meetings on July 11-13 in Vermont, Quebec and New York to solicit community concerns and input on the draft work plan. Read More »