Fourth Quarterly Update for the International Souris River Study Board
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 flooding, water supply, and other water related concerns in the Souris River Basin. Learn more about our mandate.
The Study Board has started assessing how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may impact the study activities and timeline for delivering recommendations to the International Joint Commission (IJC). Many of the Study Board and technical staff are employed by several Provincial, State, and Federal agencies across the United States and Canada and each agency is issuing different employee health and safety guidelines to mitigate the exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, the impact on all Study Board members and technical staff to communicate and conduct technical work is changing rapidly. The Study Board is working with the appropriate agencies and will continue to assess all impacts of COVID-19 on the study and provide updates in our future reports and communications.
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.
Souris River Minot, ND. Photo taken by: Catherine Lee-Johnston
The Study Team created alternative building blocks 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 are being 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 has made progress on documentation, and expects to have the final report submitted by February 2021.
Minot Public Meeting
On February 20, 2020, the Study Team met with the public at the Clarion Hotel in Minot, North Dakota. The meeting was hosted by Tammy Hanson, U.S PAG Co-Chair, Joe Goodwill, Canadian alternate PAG Co-Chair, and Michael Bart, US Co-Chair for the ISRSB, who presented an update on the study. The presentation provided information on the current status of modeling as well as timelines for various key study steps, and stressed the importance of the public engagement in this study. The involvement of the resource agencies with legal responsibilities in the basin, and Indigenous people are also essential to ensure that everyone is being heard. This engagement will continue to be crucial as the study continues toward its goal. There were about 40 people present for the meeting in Minot. The Study Team wants to thank everyone who attended the meeting.
Public Meeting on February 20, 2020 at the Clarion Hotel in Minot, ND. Photo provided by Catherine Lee-Johnston
The Study Team plans to continue engagement with the PAG, RAAG, and Indigenous Nations and Tribes as the Study progresses through phase V. The Study Team plans to have a Webinar with the PAG and RAAG for feedback on the phase V operating scenarios. They also plan to continue to build the relationships with the Indigenous Nations and Tribes by helping the International Joint Commission develop an Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group for the Souris River Basin.
Participants of the November PAG Workshop - Credit: USACE
Participants of the November RAAG Workshop - Credit: USACE
Indigenous Peoples Workshop Participant and Study Member - Credit: Darrell Corkal)
Hydrologic Visualization Tool
The Study has developed a Hydrologic Visualization Tool that allows the user to compare alternative simulation results at different locations in the Souris River Basin. It is currently being used internally as a tool to help the Study Team and Advisory Groups see the changes that are being made and how they might affect certain areas. This tool is something that will be made available to the Public at the end of the Study once the results have been finalized and the report has been completed.
Screenshot of ISRSB Hydrologic Visualization Tool
Connecting with the International Souris River Board (ISRB)
The ISRB is a permanent board that ensures a more eco-systemic approach to transboundary water issues, compliance for the apportionment of river flows, oversight of flood operations, and assists the Commission in preventing and resolving transboundary disputes. The Study Team is continuing to update the ISRB as the Study moves through its final stages. This will ensure a smooth transition of the products that are being developed as part of the Study, and will include the advisory groups that have been created.
ISRB Meeting February 20, 2020 at the Clarion Hotel in Minot, ND - Credit: Catherine Lee-Johnston
Resources on the Web
The Study Board has resources on 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:
- PAG Mid-term Report
- A pamphlet on The 1989 International Agreement for Water Supply and Flood Control in the Souris River Basin
- A brochure on the International Souris River Study
- Dams and Reservoirs in the Souris River Basin – a fact sheet
- 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.
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