For Release: September 17, 1998
IJC Outlines Further Efforts for Addressing Red River Basin Flood
The International Joint Commission (IJC) released today a Plan of Study outlining the
activities its International Red River Basin Task Force will be pursuing to reduce damages
from future floods in the Red River basin.
The Plan of Study incorporates comments received at public meetings in the basin,
reflects additional coordination among those working to improve flood preparedness, and
considers the vast amount of ongoing work related to flood preparedness in the basin.
The Plan of Study considers both technical and strategic issues. Additional efforts
outlined include promoting a basinwide integration of data, models and information
management tools, coupled with improved access to these products. Efforts also include
improving hydrologic and hydraulic models, examining water retention and management
strategies, assessing the potential for improving floodplain management policies, and
examining institutional arrangements for improved communication and coordination of flood
preparedness efforts. Since continuing funding difficulties on the U.S. side limit IJC
actions in this matter, the IJC is identifying both initiatives that can occur under
current funding and initiatives that can occur only upon resolution of U.S. funding
Following the devastating 1997 spring flooding in the Red River basin, the governments
of Canada and the United States asked the IJC to investigate the causes and effects of
flooding in the Red River basin. The Commission established an International Red River
Basin Task Force to assist with the work. The Task Force prepared a December 1997 interim
report that cautioned against complacency, made 40 recommendations for better flood
preparedness in the short-term, and contained a draft Plan of Study outlining the
remaining work to be done by the IJC and its Task Force.
The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States organization
established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. It assists the governments in managing
waters along the border for the benefit of both countries.
More information, including the Plan of
Study, a summary of governments' progress in implementing the interim recommendations,
and the complete text of the interim report to the governments, may be found on the
Commission's web site, www.ijc.org.