IJC to launch new studies of flooding in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin


The International Joint Commission (IJC) has been asked by the governments of Canada and the United States to continue its investigations into the causes, impacts, risks, and solutions to flooding in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin. The governments have asked the IJC to implement Option B of its 2013 Plan of Study for the Identification of Measures to Mitigate Flooding and the Impacts of Flooding of Lake Champlain and Richelieu River.  The IJC’s new research in the basin will focus on:

  • the causes and impacts of past floods,  
  • floodplain best management practices and, adaptation strategies,
  • real-time flood forecasting and mapping,  
  • social and political perception of structural and other mitigation measures,
  • impact of flood management and mitigation measures on ecosystems, water use, the built environment and agriculture,
  • data analysis and modelling.

The IJC’s new work in this area will build upon its December 2015 report to governments, A Real-Time Flood Forecasting and Flood Inundation Mapping System  for the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Watershed, and accompanying inundation mapping tool.

Over the next six months, the IJC will appoint a bi-national Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board comprising experts directed by the IJC to implement and oversee research plans, conduct outreach and stakeholder engagement, write reports and provide recommendations to the IJC. At the end of the five-year study period, the Study Board’s work will inform an IJC report to the governments comprising a summary of research findings, and recommendations.

The International Joint Commission was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes of the use of the waters the two countries share. Under the Treaty, the IJC is responsible for regulating shared water uses, investigating transboundary issues and recommending solutions to both governments.



Frank Bevacqua


Michael Toope