Section 3: The International Niagara Committee (INC)

3.1 What is the International Niagara Committee?

In accordance with Article VII of the 1950 Niagara Treaty, a representative was appointed by each Government "who, acting jointly, shall ascertain and determine the amount of water available for the purpose of this Treaty, and shall record the same, and shall also record the amounts of water used for power diversions." By an exchange of notes during 1955, the two Governments officially designated these representatives as the INC.

3.2 Who are the members of the INC?

The INC consists of two members, one representing Canada and one representing the United States. Current membership can be found on the Board’s website. Members are not paid for the time they devote to INC activities beyond any salaries they receive from their employer if they are employed by another institution. The members bring a variety of technical and local knowledge to Committee discussions.

3.3 How are the members of the INC appointed?

The Canadian member is appointed by the Governor in Council based on a recommendation of the Ministers of the Environment and Foreign Affairs. A Divisional Engineer with rank of Brig. General of the US Army Corps of Engineers typically serves as a US member appointed by US Government.

3.4 What is the relationship between the International Niagara Board of Control and the International Niagara Committee? 

The INBC provides advice to the IJC for Niagara River water level and flow matters. Its main duties are to oversee water level regulation in the Chippawa-Grass Island Pool and the installation of the Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom. The INBC collaborates with the INC who ensure compliance with conditions of the 1950 Niagara Treaty. Thus, the INC verifies that the Falls flow requirements are met and that the amount of water used by each of the Power Entities is appropriate. These amounts are reported to the Governments of Canada and the United States.

3.5 Why isn't there just one Board or one Committee that deals with all issues at Niagara?

The 1950 Niagara River Diversion Treaty specified that one person from each Country would acting jointly, ascertain and determine the amounts of water available for the purposes of the Treaty, and shall record the same, and shall also record the amounts of water used for power diversions. By an exchange of notes in 1955, these individuals were named the International Niagara Committee. In order for the Countries to meet the terms of the 1950 Treaty, a structure had to be built, the International Niagara Control Works. That structure also had to be operated and maintained. The International Joint Commission, created the International Niagara Board of Control to oversee the operation of the structure to ensure the terms of the Treaty were met. Later in 1967, the IJC issued an Order Of Approval for the annual installation of the Lake Erie – Niagara River Ice Boom. Overseeing the installation and removal of the Ice Boom is also a responsibility of the International Niagara Board of Control on behalf of the International Joint Commission.