First Quarterly Update for the International Souris River Study Board
Welcome to the first news bulletin from the International Souris River Study Board. The Study Board looks forward to keeping you informed of its progress as we investigate flooding and water supply concerns in the Souris River Basin. Learn more about our mandate.
Bruce Davison and Gregg Wiche
Canadian and US Study Managers
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Study Workshops Evaluate Potential Recommendations
Currently, the study has produced several critical tools to evaluate changes to the 1989 International Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America. The study will incorporate feedback from the resource and agency advisory and the public advisory groups to determine how interests could be affected by changes to the operating agreement and gain their input on potential alternatives to the current operating agreement.
Between January and May, the study held a webinar and two workshops, one in Canada and one in the United States, with participants from public and resource agency advisory groups to present and gather feedback on potential operating scenarios for the dams. Members of these groups act as the study’s eyes and ears on the ground, representing views from the basin population. This series of input sessions helped bring new ideas to the table and refocus the study on priority areas and best ways to evaluate possible alternatives. Over the next few months, the study’s technical teams will distill the feedback into a series of alternatives that capture the broad range of perspectives.
Outreach to Indigenous Peoples
The study group has taken steps to engage with the First Nations, Metis, and Tribes in North Dakota, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. This winter, U.S. members of the Study Board met with the United Tribes of North Dakota to provide an overview of the study, followed by a subsequent meeting with the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers to continue discussing the study in more detail. In Canada, Study Board members met with three First Nations communities in the Souris River basin to discuss the study and efforts to connect with additional Nations within the basin are continuing. A joint workshop for First Nations, Metis, and Tribes is being planned for late summer or fall of this year.
Climate Change Impacts on Scientific Studies
Approximately 30 climate experts and members of IJC studies met in Montreal, Quebec this past March for a climate risk workshop, where they collaborated on the impacts of climate change in scientific studies. Chanel Mueller, Climate Advisory Group member with the Souris River study attended the event, with the goal acquiring takeaways on how others in the field are addressing climate impacts. This will aid in the Souris Study incorporating these impacts into the study’s future recommendations. According to Mueller, “the workshop was an opportunity to share strategies and resources and help ensure that various IJC boards take a consistent and state of the art approach to analyzing climate change impacts.”
New on Web
The study board is adding new products to its website to help you become more familiar with flooding and water supply issues in the Souris River basin. Click on Library on the home page to view:
1. A pamphlet on The 1989 International Agreement for Water Supply and Flood Control in the Souris River Basin
2. Dams and Reservoirs in the Souris River Basin – a fact sheet
3. The Unique Hydrology of the Souris River Basin – a fact sheet
Did you know that study board meetings and other public events are listed on our website? View these and upcoming public events under Calendar on the home page.
Save the Date!
The public is invited to attend a joint meeting of the International Souris River Study Board and permanent International Souris River Board to receive updates on water supply and flood control in the basin: 7 – 9:30 PM on June 25, 2019 in Bottineau, ND.
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