December 8, 2005
IJC announces receipt of peer review of Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study components
The International Joint Commission (IJC) is pleased to announce the receipt of a report by the Water Science and Technology Board of the U.S. National Research Council, in collaboration with the Royal Society of Canada, which provides a review of select components of the IJC's Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study (the Study).
The IJC established a Study Board, composed of a binational team of experts, to conduct a five-year study to evaluate the current criteria set by the IJC many years ago used to regulate water levels and flows on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and to make recommendations to the Commission about them. The Study has expanded the knowledge available to decision-makers on the impacts of regulating water levels and flows in this basin by creating large, new databases on wetlands, coastal land use, recreational use and other parameters. The ability to predict the impacts of different regulation plans was also improved by the Study through the development of environmental performance indicators, a Shared Vision Model and other analytical tools. For more information about the Study, see www.losl.org.
Because the Study generated new data and innovative approaches, the IJC engaged the U.S. National Research Council and the Royal Society of Canada to convene a panel to examine the methods used by the Study, the performance of the models and the adequacy of the information base for evaluating candidate regulation plans. The Study was designed to support decision-making on levels and flows management in the watershed; the U.S. National Research Council and Royal Society of Canada provided an academic peer review of select components. With few precedents for a study of this scale on regional water level regulation, it was expected that the U.S. National Research Council would advise on opportunities for improvement. The IJC has asked its Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study Board to prepare a document addressing the review's recommendations.
The Review of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study by the U.S. National Research Council and Royal Society of Canada is available at its website at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309100682/html/.
The International Joint Commission is an international organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters shared by the United States and Canada. Its responsibilities include approving certain projects that change the natural levels and flows of boundary waters, such as Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. More information is available on the IJC's website at www.ijc.org.