March 20, 2009
New website launched on World Water Day to mark Centennial of Boundary Waters Treaty and post 100 years of IJC Reports online for the first time
As a major activity to recognize the 100th Anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty, which created the International Joint Commission (IJC), the complete set of IJC reports and orders of approval from 1914 to present are now posted in an electronic format on a new website at bwt.ijc.org.
The IJC launched its new website today in conjunction with World Water Day, (March 22) which this year is focusing on the world’s 263 transboundary lake and river basins. 2009 is the 100th anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty. It sets principles to guide the United States and Canada in managing the fresh waters they share.
“With the launch of this website, the International Joint Commission has created a significant resource of information about how it helped prevent and resolve disputes under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909,” said Herb Gray, chair of the IJC’s Canadian Section.
“We hope that others can gain insights from a century of cooperation between the United States and Canada so that this unique story becomes less unique,” said Irene Brooks, chair of the IJC’s U.S. Section.
“I can attest that the models and approaches that the IJC has pioneered and implemented over the years have contributed not only to 100 years of peaceful and productive management of U.S.-Canadian shared water resources, but have informed collaborations in often tense basins around the world,” according to Aaron T. Wolf, director of the Program for Water Conflict Management at Oregon State University.
A variety of short descriptions and historical photos also highlight the role of the Treaty and the IJC in nurturing cooperation between Canada and the United States in managing their shared fresh waters and transboundary environment.
A database with a summary of reports and applications and orders of approval for water-related projects, fully searchable by region or keyword, provides online access to download and print a treasure trove of historical documents from all the IJC dockets. These documents include applications for water-related projects, letters from the two governments initiating studies and other materials. The website provides information on all activities that mark the Boundary Waters Treaty Centennial this year, as well details on the major event being organized for June 13, 2009 in the Niagara Falls Region.
The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.
In particular, the Commission rules upon applications for approval of projects affecting boundary or transboundary waters and may regulate the operation of these projects; it assists the two countries in the protection of the transboundary environment, in a variety of ways including examining issues referred to it by the two federal governments and through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the improvement of transboundary air quality; and it alerts the governments to emerging issues along the boundary that may give rise to bilateral disputes.