Final Minutes
International Souris River Board

Conference Call
Tuesday, September 23, 2003


Mr. Frink welcomed participants to the conference call, which began at 1:00 p.m. (CDT). Participants were Ted Bailey, Russell Boals, Wayne Dybvig, Ed Eaton, Megan Estep, Dale Frink, Randy House, Dean Knauer, Bob White, and Gregg Wiche.

03-T-01 Review of Agenda

The agenda was accepted with no additions.

03-T-02 Approval of Minutes for June 24, 2003, Meeting

It was moved by Mr. Boals and seconded by Mr. Wiche that the June 24, 2003, minutes be approved.


03-T-03 Approval of Minutes for July 9, 2003, Conference Call

The July 9, 2003, conference call minutes between the International Souris River Board and the Souris River Bilateral Water-Quality Monitoring Group co-chairs were accepted for information purposes. The heading on the minutes will be changed to show that both Boards participated in the call.


03-T-04 Natural Flow Determination--January 1 to August 31, 2003
(Mr. House, handout provided through email)

The total diversion for the Souris River Basin was 65 775 dam3 (53,324 acre-ft). This total was 800 dam3 (650 acre-ft) more than at the end of May 2003. Recorded flow at Sherwood was 34 930 dam3 (28,320 acre-ft), which was 3 600 dam3 (2,920 acre-ft) more than at the end of May 2003. Natural flow at Sherwood was 94 045 dam3 (76,240 acre-ft). The United States share on a 40/60 split was 37 620 dam3 (30,500 acre-ft). The United States received 36 530 dam3 (29,610 acre-ft), which left a deficit of 1 090 dam3 (884 acre-ft).

Recorded flow at the Western Crossing was 19 100 dam3 (15,480 acre-ft), and recorded flow at the Eastern Crossing was 20 880 dam3 (16,930 acre-ft). Thus, the surplus from the United States was 1 780 dam3 (1,443 acre-ft).

Releases from Alameda Reservoir were started on September 19, 2003. The deficit to the United States should be made up by mid-October. Enough water will be released to accomplish draw down of the reservoir.

The water being released is from a low level and concerns were expressed that the water may not be oxygenated. Low levels of oxygen at freezeup could adversely affect aquatic life. Mr. Dybvig will do a followup on this issue.

It was moved by Mr. Dybvig and seconded by Mr. Boals to approve calculations through the end of August.


03-T-05 General Discussion of 1989 Agreement

Mr. Frink stated that, according to section 6, appendix A, of the 1989 Agreement, the Government of Saskatchewan, the Department of the Army, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are responsible for flood forecasts. The North Dakota State Engineer also should be involved in the process. Mr. Frink asked Mr. Dybvig to review the recent proposal that he distributed concerning management of flood operations under the Agreement.

Mr. Dybvig stated that the general feeling is the flood operations are not formally administered and proposed that a Board or Liaison Committee be established to determine when the flood operations provisions of the Agreement apply and to oversee the operations during a flood. The Board or Committee would handle day-to-day operations and would work closely with the International Souris River Board. The Board or Committee would be formed by the agencies named in the Agreement and should be a formal entity that has responsibility for the construction, operation, and maintenance of projects.

The responsibilities in the 1989 Agreement also are judiciary in nature. Therefore, the regulatory part could be separated and the International Souris River Board’s mandate enhanced. Issues about flood control could be answered by the Board or Liaison Committee who would have decision-making authority.

It was noted that the Governments are responsible for any changes to the 1989 Agreement and that the International Souris River Board can only give comments. The mandate now being considered is to combine water-quantity and water-quality issues. Therefore, the timing for discussing flood issues may not be the best. The water-quantity and water-quality groups are only for monitoring and do not have decision-making authority.

It was decided that the International Souris River Board would consider the issue and then take ideas to the International Joint Commission. The International Joint Commission and the Governments should decide the issue.

03-T-06 Discussion Paper on ISRB Enhanced Mandate

The paper has been submitted to the International Joint Commission and will be discussed with the two Boards at the October meeting of the Commission. After the discussion, Commissioners will work on the process of going forward with the mandate. Mr. Boals, Mr. Frink, Mr. Kellow, and possibly Mr. Fewless are planning to attend the meeting.

Mr. Frink will arrange a conference call for the co-chairs of both Boards to prepare a 15-minute presentation for the Commissioners. The call was tentatively scheduled for October 8th at 10:00 a.m.

03-T-07 Status of Reports

1999 Flood Report

Mr. Eaton stated that the report will be finished by the end of the week and will be sent out before the October meeting of the International Joint Commission.

The 2001 flood report will be a basic post-flood report and should be finished by the February 17, 2004, International Souris River Board meeting.

2002 Annual ISRB Report

Ms. Martin stated that the report has been updated for the most part but that some questions still need to be answered. Also, the Souris River map needs to be updated. The document will be resubmitted to the reviewers with a request for responses within 1 week. The map will be updated by Environment Canada and sent to Ms. Martin. The report then will be finalized in time for the October meeting of the International Joint Commission.

03-T-08 Arrangements for February 17, 2004, Meeting

Arrangements are underway.

03-T-09 Roundtable

Mr. Wiche asked if it would be possible, given the current reservoir conditions and the fact that there was a deficit to make up, to release water to ensure 4 cubic feet per second at the border during the summer rather than release a slug of water later in the season. Mr. Dybvig stated that when there is a good supply in the reservoirs and there is a deficit, such an approach is possible and will be considered in future years.

Mr. Dybvig stated appreciation for the support provided by Environment Canada. Mr. Eaton also expressed appreciation for work done by all members of the Board.

No further comments.

03-T-10 End of Call

The conference call was terminated at 2:20 p.m. CDT.



Conference Call
1:00 p.m. (CDT)
September 23, 2003

  1. Review of agenda
  2. Approval of minutes for June 24, 2003, meeting
  3. Approval of minutes for July 9, 2003, conference call
  4. Natural flow determination--January 1 to August 31, 2003
  5. General discussion of 1989 agreement
  6. Discussion paper on ISRB enhanced mandate
  7. Status of reports
    • 1999 flood report
    • 2002 annual ISRB report
  8. Arrangements for February 17, 2004, meeting
  9. Roundtable
  10. End of call