Canada addresses water quality issues in lakes Champlain and Memphremagog


From: Global Affairs Canada

News Release

October 21, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Joint stewardship of the environment is a cornerstone of Canada-United States relations. Our countries have a history of effective cooperation on issues affecting shared bodies of water.

Global Affairs Canada today announced that the Government of Canada is taking action to address water quality concerns in lakes Champlain and Memphremagog, both located along the Canada–U.S. border in southern Quebec.

Following growing public concerns regarding water quality and algal blooms in the two lakes, the governments of Canada and the United States have asked the International Joint Commission (IJC) to further examine these issues.  Algal blooms can produce toxins that make people, wildlife and pets sick and as a result, can impact recreational activities and local economies.

The IJC study will review current efforts to address algal blooms and high nutrient levels, and make recommendations on how to improve water quality in both lakes.


Quick Facts

  • Established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the IJC is a binational organization mandated to prevent and resolve disputes, primarily those concerning water quantity and quality, along the Canada–U.S. border.

  • Canada’s participation in the IJC is the responsibility of Global Affairs Canada. The Canadian share of the IJC’s 2017-18 budget was over $10 million. 

  • The IJC has extensive and unique experience in handling the full range of regional transboundary water issues, including its high-quality work related to flooding in the Lake Champlain–Richelieu River basin.