International Watersheds Initiative: Building on Success


The Fifth Report to Governments on the International Watersheds Initiative (IWI) describes what the IJC has accomplished through the IWI program between 2015 and 2019 and lays out priorities for the next five-year period. Over the past five years, the IWI has helped enable the IJC to carry out its mandate to prevent and resolve transboundary water disputes by:

  • helping increase membership diversity on IJC watershed boards;
  • harmonizing datasets between Canada and the United States through the data harmonization initiative;
  • developing the Climate Change Guidance Framework for IJC boards to assess their vulnerabilities to anticipated impacts from climate change;
  • assisting boards to assess impacts from high-water events in the Great Lakes; and
  • improving basin wide understanding of nutrient sources and movement in several transboundary watersheds using the SPARROW model.

Going forward, IWI intends to prioritize studying how climate change may impact transboundary basins and the work of IJC boards, examine the potential benefits of new IJC watershed boards, and improve how project results and successes are organized and communicated.

International Joint Commission