International Joint Commission (IJC)
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IJC admin | 2016/05/16

Read IJC’s newsletters to stay current on how Canada and the United States are working together to manage the health and flow of the waters shared by our two countries. Read More »

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Lake of the Woods Special Issue, Lake and Reservoir Management – Open Access Until March 15

IJC admin | 2018/03/01

There’s a time-limited opportunity to download key research papers that are unlocking the mystery of what is causing algae blooms on Lake of the Woods. Read More »

More Shared Waters Being Matched Up in Binational Mapping Project

IJC admin | 2018/02/20

The IJC might not exist if water stopped at the border between Canada and the United States. But rivers, streams, and lakes are not restricted by political boundaries, and for two nations and their governments to effectively manage water systems, adequately prepare for floods, apportion water and monitor climate change, they need to look at the big picture. That’s where the IJC’s data harmonization efforts come in. Read More »

Behind the Scenes of Studies on Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River

IJC admin | 2018/02/16

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is active in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin, carrying out studies to address two major issues: flooding and water quality. This is welcome news for residents who experienced the catastrophic effects of floods in 2011. News of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay and Lake Memphremagog also continue to command the attention of the public. Read More »

Public Advisory Groups Contribute to Lake Champlain and Souris River Studies

IJC admin | 2018/02/16

One of the ways that the International Joint Commission (IJC) encourages broad public participation and outreach in its scientific studies is through Public Advisory Groups, also known as PAGs. Read More »

Droughts Hit Central Basins, Testing Water Managers

IJC admin | 2018/02/16

A “flash drought” in the summer of 2017 squeezed water supplies in transboundary watersheds in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana, complicating the task of water managers to make sure everyone gets their share. Read More »

Lake of the Woods Algae and Nutrients Highlighted in Aquatic Ecosystem Health Report

IJC admin | 2018/02/15

Algae blooms during late summer and fall on Lake of the Woods remain a concern, as highlighted in a recent Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board annual Aquatic Ecosystem Health Report. Read More »

Zebra Mussels Remain a Concern in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed

IJC admin | 2018/02/15

The good news is that zebra mussels have not made it into Lake of the Woods or the Rainy River, yet. The bad news is that zebra mussels have invaded several headwaters upstream in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods basin and infested hundreds of lakes nearby, outside the basin. Read More »

Confronting the Flood Management Conundrum

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

2017 has been a brutal year for floods across the Canada-US border, and more broadly North America. Major flooding hit areas like British Columbia, Washington, Texas, Florida, New York, Ontario and Quebec due to heavy rains, snowmelt conditions, saturated soils and severe storms. 2016 also saw major flooding, including multiple billion-dollar floods in Texas and Louisiana, as did 2015. Strategies to reduce flood risks have been advocated for decades, yet by many accounts, flood damages are increasing. Why? Read More »

Watermarks from the West

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

The IJC’s Great Lakes Connection newsletter has been highlighting Watermarks for more than a year --- from Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. But these video and written testimonials are just the beginning. Read More »

‘A River Film’ Documents Beauty and Complexity of Okana(o)gan Valley

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

The line to the Oliver Theatre wrapped around the corner for the theatrical debut of “A River Film” in Oliver, British Columbia. The new movie was produced and directed by Ascent Films for the Washington State Department of Ecology, with funding through the International Joint Commission (IJC)’s International Watersheds Initiative and local support from the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB). Read More »

Fall 2017 Semi-Annual Brings Together Commissioners, Boards

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

As fall descended on Ottawa, Ontario, so did a contingent of IJC staff, Commissioners and board members. The IJC held its Fall 2017 Semi-Annual Meeting in late October, a unique opportunity for face-to-face discussions that happens twice a year. Read More »

Chronicling ‘The First Century of the International Joint Commission’

IJC admin | 2017/11/21

“The First Century of the International Joint Commission” was an informative two-day conference co-hosted by Drs. Murray Clamen and Daniel Macfarlane. Read More »

Flooding and Fire in the Osoyoos Lake Area

IJC admin | 2017/11/21

Thanks to heavy precipitation and an intense snowmelt from April into June, communities in the Osoyoos Lake region, located on the border of Washington and British Columbia, contended with serious springtime flooding which indirectly led into an increased risk of wildfires from plant growth. Read More »

Western Wildfires Put Water Systems at Risk of Pollution

IJC admin | 2017/10/18

2017 has been another intense year for wildfires in the western US and Canada, placing water infrastructure in the crosshairs. After many previous years of drought, last winter brought above-average rain and snowfall for much of the West. Although the precipitation was helpful to resupply the mountain snowpack and drinking water reservoirs, it helped spur explosive spring growth of vegetation which was quickly dried out by intense summer heat and drought. Read More »

Residents Generally Supportive, But Mixed on Preferred Proposed Rainy-Namakan Rule Curves

IJC admin | 2017/09/21

Residents of the Rainy River watershed in Ontario and Minnesota expressed different preferences for new rule curves during a series of public hearings held by the IJC from Aug. 16-18. The hearings were designed to gather public input on the International Rainy-Namakan Lakes Rule Curve Study Board’s draft recommendations to the Canadian and US governments, and the IJC’s position on the proposals. Read More »

Geographic Information Systems: Resources from IJC

IJC admin | 2017/09/06

As a transboundary organization, the IJC uses maps and geospatial data to help manage water levels and conduct watershed assessment and ecological inventory analysis. Read More »

Public Concerned About Development and Response in Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Basin

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Since holding its first meeting in January, the International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board has been putting together a draft work plan to study flooding in the basin – notably the 2011 floods – and figure out what steps communities can take to mitigate future risks. The board’s mandate includes public involvement, and members held three meetings on July 11-13 in Vermont, Quebec and New York to solicit community concerns and input on the draft work plan. Read More »

‘Oh Yeh, That’s How it Works!’ --- Tools for Visualizing Water Flows

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Looking at numbers on a spreadsheet is one thing. Showing what the numbers mean is another, especially when it comes to visualizing water flows. Read More »

Alewives Rebounding in Latest St. Croix Fish Count

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

The number of alewives returning to spawn in the St .Croix River has exploded this year, dramatically surpassing counts from recent years and boding well for the restoration of the species. Read More »

Flooding Studies, Regulation Plans, and the IJC Annual Activities Report

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Thanks to trends showing changing precipitation patterns, rising temperatures and droughts in regions across the Canada-US border, the IJC spent 2016 working on new policies and recommendations to help governments adapt and prepare for the future, according to a newly released Annual Activities Report. Read More »

Annual Conference of Water Professionals Showcases Transboundary Cooperation

IJC admin | 2017/08/14

Hundreds of water professionals gathered for the annual conference of Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) in June in Lethbridge, Alberta. The three-day event brought people together along the rugged shore of the Old Man River to share information and best practices in all things water management. The conference featured keynote talks from leading water experts from Canada and the United States as well concurrent sessions related to topics including shared water resource challenges, water quality, modelling, and evolving policy and regulation. Read More »

Preparing for Future Floods: Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board Seeks Public Involvement

IJC admin | 2017/07/10

The IJC’s International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board has released its draft work plan to recommend flood mitigation measures as well as approaches for flood forecasting and preparedness. The board is hosting public meetings from July 11-13 in Vermont, Québec and New York and accepting public feedback until July 28. Read More »

Cheers to Canada 150, and an Ongoing Relationship with the US

IJC admin | 2017/06/28

For Canada, 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation. Celebrations are planned from coast to coast on July 1, Canada Day. Canadians are commemorating their history, culture, scientific achievements and more. And their neighbor to the south is joining the celebration by taking special note of the many ways in which our two countries demonstrate their friendship and multiple partnerships. Read More »

North American Water Watch Now Online

IJC admin | 2017/05/19

The International Joint Commission has set an initiative to provide the public with information on short-term streamflow conditions and how they compare to historic conditions in an interactive, easy-to-use interface. In partnership with the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s North American Water Watch team, we have created the IJC’s own North American Water Watch portal, an interactive map of real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of year. Read More »

Spring Melts Bring Water and Flooding Threats Outside the Great Lakes

IJC admin | 2017/05/17

As winter turns to spring, waterways across the Canada-United States border get a fresh influx of water in what’s known as the spring freshet, with water entering the system from snowmelt and rainfall. This year, basins managed or monitored by the IJC are seeing strong flows and flood risks from central continental regions to the west coast. Read More »