International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board

Binational coordination of water quality management

International Rainy Lake of the Woods Watershed Board assists with binational coordination of water quality management efforts for the entire transboundary watershed.

The Watershed Board has a mandate to monitor and report on the water quality and ecosystem health of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River boundary waters aquatic ecosystem.  The Watershed Board also may recommend water quality objectives and alert the International Joint Commission of any water quality or ecosystem health risks that could affect the transboundary aquatic ecosystem.  Potential risks to the ecological health of the aquatic ecosystem include mineral contaminants, nutrients, invasive species and climate change.

The Aquatic Ecosystem Health Committee of the Watershed Board assists in fulfilling this mandate, working in collaboration with government agencies.  This committee consists of Board members and knowledgeable persons from agencies in both the United States and Canada. 

The Watershed Board reports annually on water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods boundary waters.  From time to time, the Watershed Board contributes to studies in the basin, such as the Rainy-Lake of the Woods State of the Basin Report and the 2015 development of a Plan of Study for improving water quality and ecosystem health in the Lake of the Woods Basin.  Also the watershed board collaborates with scientists in the Basin through its Aquatic Ecosystem Health Committee, Community and Industry Advisory Groups and the International Watershed Coordinator, who provides linkages among groups working at the local, regional and binational levels.

Water Quality FAQ