Sixth Quarterly Update for the International Souris River Basin Study Board

October 2020 

Welcome to the news bulletin from the International Souris River Study Board. The Study Board looks forward to keeping you informed of its progress as we investigate flood control, water supply, and other water related concerns in the Souris River Basin. Learn more about our mandate

Bruce Davison and Gregg Wiche 
Canadian and US Study Managers 


Exercise your Social Muscle 
Please forward this bulletin to people who are interested in flood control, water supply, and other water related issues in the basin, and encourage them to sign up to receive news and updates from the Study Board in their inbox. 

8th Avenue Souris River
8th Avenue SE Souris River Crossing in Minot, ND. Credit: Darrell Corkal


Study Progress 

COVID-19 is an ongoing complication affecting resources and the overall schedule of the Study. The Study Board has created several options for schedule adjustments to make up for the time lost during the COVID-19 crisis. The options have been submitted to the IJC, and the Study Team is waiting for direction from governments.  Once direction is provided, the Public Advisory Group, Resource and Agency Advisory Group, Indigenous Peoples and general public will be updated. 

The Study Team created alternative building blocks for potential changes to operating rules in the first three phases of plan formulation. The Study Team combined the alternative building blocks into preliminary operating plans in phase IV. In phase V, these operating plans were further refined based on feedback received from workshops held in November 2019 with the Public Advisory Group (PAG), and Resource and Agency Advisory Group (RAAG).  

The Study Team is continuing to work on documentation for phase V, completing interim deliverables, and the final Study report. However, COVID-19 has limited the Study Team’s ability to run simulations. As the situation improves, the Study Team will be able to resume running and analyzing simulations of the alternatives.  

Virtual Workshops and Webinars have been utilized to continue engagement with the PAG, RAAG, and Indigenous Peoples during COVID-19 restrictions. The Study Team hopes to transition from Virtual platforms to in person meetings once the travel restrictions have been lifted and if resources are available.  

RAAG and PAG Webinars 
The Study Team held a webinar on July 22, 2020 to update the RAAG on phase V. A Study update, the proposed operational changes, and a refresher on the Hydrologic Visualization Tool were presented in the webinar. The RAAG was given time after the webinar to review the materials and provide feedback to the Study Team.  

The Study Team held a webinar split into two early morning sessions for the PAG on August 27 and 28, 2020 to update them on phase V. Early morning session were held to accommodate the busy August schedules for some PAG members. The sessions were also recorded for viewing later for those unable to attend. Participants were asked to complete a follow-up survey and provide feedback to the Study team.  

Indigenous Workshop 
The Study Team and IJC held a Virtual Two-Day Workshop with Indigenous Peoples with interests in the Souris River Basin. The goal of the workshop was to continue building relationships and begin to develop a plan for an Indigenous Advisory Group (IAG). The workshop participants brainstormed ideas and provided feedback and suggestions on how to form an IAG for the Souris River Basin. The IJC will use this information to propose a plan for engagement with Indigenous Peoples.   

Screenshot of Indigenous Workshop
Screenshot of Indigenous Workshop Participants

Hydrologic Visualization Tool 

Hydrologic Map of Souris Basin
Hydrologic Visualization Tool of Souris Basin

The Study has developed a Hydrologic Visualization Tool that allows the user to compare simulation results for many locations in the Souris River Basin. It is currently being used internally as a tool to help the Study Team and Advisory Groups visualise the changes that are being made and how these operational changes affect specific reaches of the Souris river. The tool will be made available to the Public once the results have been analyzed and the Study report is available for public review.  

Resources on the Web 
The Study Board has placed resources on its website that will help you become more familiar with the hydrology as well as flood control and water supply issues in the Souris River Basin. Click on Library on the home page to view: 

  1. Review of Artificial Drainage Impacts – a fact sheet 

  1. PAG Mid-term Report  

  1. A pamphlet on The 1989 International Agreement for Water Supply and Flood Control in the Souris River Basin 

  1. A brochure on the International Souris River Study 

  1. Dams and Reservoirs in the Souris River Basin – a fact sheet 

  1. 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. 

Stay connected. Be involved. 



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