Water Levels and Flows
"...no further or other uses or obstructions or diversion, whether temporary or permanent, of the boundary waters to either side of the line, affecting the natural level or flow of boundary waters on the other side of the line shall be made except by authority of the United States or the Dominion of Canada within their respective jurisdiction and with the approval, as hereinafter provided of a joint commission to be known as the International Joint Commission."
-Article III, Boundary Waters Treaty, 1909
International Joint Commission approval is required for certain proposals to construct a dam or diversion that would affect water levels and flows across the international boundary. If a project is approved, the IJC may impose conditions on its design or operation to protect the interests of both countries. The IJC has approved hydroelectric power projects in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, St. Croix River and Columbia River basins. IJC orders also apportion water in the Souris River, St. Mary River and Milk River basins, and maintain water levels to avoid emergency conditions in the Lake of the Woods basin.
The IJC may also appoint a board with members from each country to monitor compliance with its orders of approval.
IJC Boards with Water Levels and Flows responsibilities :
- Columbia River Board of Control
- Kootenay Lake Board of Control
- Osoyoos Lake Board of Control
- Accredited Officers of the St. Mary – Milk Rivers
- Souris River Board
- International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board
- Lake Superior Board of Control
- Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board
- St. Croix River Watershed Board