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MEDIA RELEASE

For Release January 12, 1998

Contact Frank Bevacqua
Fabien Lengellé
Washington, D.C.
Ottawa, Ontario
(202) 736-9024
(613) 995-2984

Report on Red River Flooding Calls For Improved Canada-U.S. Coordination

An interim report by the International Joint Commission (IJC) recommends improved coordination between the United States and Canada to prepare for potential floods during the next two years 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 and to provide them with an interim report by the end of 1997.

The interim report notes the many prudent steps taken to prepare for the 1997 flood in the Red River basin and recommends additional measures to reduce harm from future flooding.

The interim report makes 40 recommendations regarding flood forecasting, monitoring improvements, emergency measures and planning, environmental concerns, and floodplain management including zoning, legislation and enforcement.

The interim report also includes a draft plan of study to highlight issues that need more attention and that will form part of the final report. The draft plan proposes the development of a database, models and studies to assist future management of the river basin.

To assist with this work, the commission established the International Red River Basin Task Force, which provided the interim report titled "Red River Flooding: Short-Term Measures."

The IJC and task force will hold public consultations in the Red River basin in February 1998 to receive public comments on the 40 recommendations and on the draft plan of study. Written comments will also be accepted until February 27, 1998.

The IJC has proposed that its final report be submitted by June 30, 1999. This will allow time for the IJC to carry out extensive work related to modeling, data analysis, social impact and public consultation outlined in the report.

More information, including the complete text of the interim report to the governments, is available at the commission's web site, www.ijc.org, or by writing to:

IJC Canadian Section
100 Metcalfe Street
18th Floor
Ottawa ON K1P 5M1
IJC U.S. Section
1250 23rd Street, N.W.
Suite 100
Washington DC 20440

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