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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‘Oh Yeh, That’s How it Works!’ --- Tools for Visualizing Water Flows

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Looking at numbers on a spreadsheet is one thing. Showing what the numbers mean is another, especially when it comes to visualizing water flows. Read More »

Alewives Rebounding in Latest St. Croix Fish Count

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

The number of alewives returning to spawn in the St .Croix River has exploded this year, dramatically surpassing counts from recent years and boding well for the restoration of the species. Read More »

Flooding Studies, Regulation Plans, and the IJC Annual Activities Report

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Thanks to trends showing changing precipitation patterns, rising temperatures and droughts in regions across the Canada-US border, the IJC spent 2016 working on new policies and recommendations to help governments adapt and prepare for the future, according to a newly released Annual Activities Report. Read More »

Annual Conference of Water Professionals Showcases Transboundary Cooperation

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Hundreds of water professionals gathered for the annual conference of Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) in June in Lethbridge, Alberta. The three-day event brought people together along the rugged shore of the Old Man River to share information and best practices in all things water management. The conference featured keynote talks from leading water experts from Canada and the United States as well concurrent sessions related to topics including shared water resource challenges, water quality, modelling, and evolving policy and regulation. Read More »

Preparing for Future Floods: Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board Seeks Public Involvement

IJC admin | 2017/07/10

The IJC’s International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board has released its draft work plan to recommend flood mitigation measures as well as approaches for flood forecasting and preparedness. The board is hosting public meetings from July 11-13 in Vermont, Québec and New York and accepting public feedback until July 28. Read More »

Cheers to Canada 150, and an Ongoing Relationship with the US

IJC admin | 2017/06/28

For Canada, 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation. Celebrations are planned from coast to coast on July 1, Canada Day. Canadians are commemorating their history, culture, scientific achievements and more. And their neighbor to the south is joining the celebration by taking special note of the many ways in which our two countries demonstrate their friendship and multiple partnerships. Read More »

North American Water Watch Now Online

IJC admin | 2017/05/19

The International Joint Commission has set an initiative to provide the public with information on short-term streamflow conditions and how they compare to historic conditions in an interactive, easy-to-use interface. In partnership with the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s North American Water Watch team, we have created the IJC’s own North American Water Watch portal, an interactive map of real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of year. Read More »

Spring Melts Bring Water and Flooding Threats Outside the Great Lakes

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

As winter turns to spring, waterways across the Canada-United States border get a fresh influx of water in what’s known as the spring freshet, with water entering the system from snowmelt and rainfall. This year, basins managed or monitored by the IJC are seeing strong flows and flood risks from central continental regions to the west coast. Read More »

Wrapping Up our Spring Semi-Annual

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

May was the month for our Spring 2017 Semi-Annual Meeting, which brought IJC boards from across the transboundary region to Washington, D.C. Read More »

Preparing for Climate Change in the Transboundary Region

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

Information is one tool being used to prepare for climate change, from the Columbia River basin in the west to the St. Croix River basin in the east. The IJC is developing a climate change guidance framework to help its boards plan for the future. The goal is to help determine how boards can address climate change within their mandates, what data is available and what’s needed, and what changes individual watersheds may face in coming decades. Read More »

The Impact of Snowpack is Felt Throughout the Year

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

For western water users, the size and melting rate of the winter snowpack – particularly in the mountains - is a strong indicator of how water supplies could look like for the rest of the year, impacting the ecosystem, farming, irrigation and communities along the way. Read More »

Signs of Spring 2017

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

IJC boards from coast-to-coast have been watching the seasons change, starting with spring on March 20. Summer will be here on June 21. Read More »

Watershed Board Projects Underway Across North America

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

Work under the International Watersheds Initiative (IWI) is continuing across the United States and Canada, with some research and educational projects wrapping up and others continuing. Read More »

Local Officials Try to Slow Invasive March into Rainy Lake Region

IJC admin | 2017/02/21

Invasive zebra mussels are working their way west from the Great Lakes to the Rainy-Namakan basin while other invasive species already in the water system continue to spread. Local officials are trying to slow and halt their progress through a combination of education, outreach and boat inspections. Read More »

Okanagan Water Managers Sound Alarm as Zebra Mussels Draw Near

IJC admin | 2017/02/21

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels have made their way westward since being detected in the Great Lakes in 1988, recently encroaching into Montana waterways. The economic and ecological impact has water managers in the sensitive and sizable Columbia River basin – located in the Pacific Northwest – increasingly worried about keeping these hard-shelled bivalves out. Read More »

Central Basins Prepare for Warmer, More Extreme Climate

IJC admin | 2017/02/21

In the prairie basins around the St. Mary-Milk Rivers and the Souris River, climate models are projecting hotter, more extreme weather in coming decades. In a region of the continent known for swinging between dry and wet periods, officials are already looking at adapting their current procedures to prepare. Read More »

Kootenay Lake Board Expects Increased Winter Flow from Climate Change

IJC admin | 2017/02/01

Due to climate change, the International Kootenay Lake Board of Control expects increases in unregulated winter flows in coming years. That could lead to challenges in maintaining water elevations at or below target levels in the lake, located in British Columbia just north of the Washington state border. Studies show an increased potential for warmer, wetter and stormier winters and potential impacts on inflow. Read More »

International Cooperation a Boon to Sockeye Salmon in Okanagan River

IJC admin | 2016/11/14

The sockeye salmon has rebounded in the Okanagan River system since a low point in the 1990s. The system includes the internationally-located Osoyoos Lake and is part of the broader Columbia River basin. The rebound is thanks largely to local efforts to improve fish passage, water management and hatchery practices. Sockeye numbers during their annual run have increased from a low of 1,666 passing the Wells Dam in 1994 to a peak of 490,804 in 2014. Read More »

A Look at the Experimental Lakes Area in Western Ontario

IJC admin | 2016/11/14

The Experimental Lakes Area is a freshwater research facility comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds. The area is set aside for scientific study of the impacts of climate change, agricultural runoff, water management, contaminants such as mercury and organic pollutants, and a growing list of new chemical substances. Read More »

Harmonized Data Can Improve Management of Rainy-Namakan Water Levels

IJC admin | 2016/11/14

The Rainy-Namakan Lakes water system has seen its water levels controlled by dams since the early 20th century, and measuring water elevation has been tricky. But a recent study harmonizing all data points has come up with a benchmark for all gauges. Read More »

IJC Commissioners Visit Lake Champlain to Learn About Challenges and Adaptation Following 2011 Floods

IJC admin | 2016/11/14

Residents of the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain area have worked hard to rebuild and prepare following a devastating and lengthy flood in 2011. Following a visit to the watershed by IJC commissioners in July, the IJC has been given the go-ahead by governments to launch new studies of flooding in the basin. Read More »

Coast to Coast: Boards Relay Progress at 2016 Fall Semi-Annual

IJC admin | 2016/11/14

The IJC calls together its international boards twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, to check on progress in areas from coast to coast along the Canada-US border. These boards are made up of volunteers from agencies, academia, nonprofits and the public, who dedicate time and expertise to important issues in their watersheds. They presented at IJC’s Fall Semi-Annual Meeting during the last week of October, at the IJC’s Canadian Section Office in Ottawa, Ontario. Read More »

The World Needs More IJC


Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion and US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman spoke at the IJC’s recent Fall Semi-Annual Meeting in Ottawa. Here are excerpts from their talk. We appreciate their presence at our gathering and their kind words. Read More »

International Watersheds Initiative Projects Target Water Resources and Environment

IJC admin | 2016/11/14

The International Watersheds Initiative (IWI) is an approach to resolving transboundary water issues grounded on the belief that local communities, given appropriate assistance, are best placed to achieve solutions. This approach recognizes that ecosystems function as whole entities and should be managed as such, rather than being bound by traditional political boundaries. Read More »

Departing Co-chair says Souris River Flooding Still a Concern

IJC admin | 2016/10/24

Following massive flooding on the Souris River in 2011, officials and advisers are focused on a plan of study to prepare for a future deluge. Todd Sando, who recently left his position as co-chairman of the International Souris River Board, made the plan the focus of his final days with the organization. Read More »