IJC Outlines Further Efforts for Addressing Red River Basin Flood Preparedness


The International Joint Commission (IJC) released today a Plan of Study outlining the activities its International Red River Basin Task Force will be pursuing to reduce damages from future floods in the Red River basin.

The Plan of Study incorporates comments received at public meetings in the basin, reflects additional coordination among those working to improve flood preparedness, and considers the vast amount of ongoing work related to flood preparedness in the basin.

The Plan of Study considers both technical and strategic issues. Additional efforts outlined include promoting a basinwide integration of data, models and information management tools, coupled with improved access to these products. Efforts also include improving hydrologic and hydraulic models, examining water retention and management strategies, assessing the potential for improving floodplain management policies, and examining institutional arrangements for improved communication and coordination of flood preparedness efforts. Since continuing funding difficulties on the U.S. side limit IJC actions in this matter, the IJC is identifying both initiatives that can occur under current funding and initiatives that can occur only upon resolution of U.S. funding difficulties.

Following the devastating 1997 spring flooding in the Red River basin, the governments of Canada and the United States asked the IJC to investigate the causes and effects of flooding in the Red River basin. The Commission established an International Red River Basin Task Force to assist with the work. The Task Force prepared a December 1997 interim report that cautioned against complacency, made 40 recommendations for better flood preparedness in the short-term, and contained a draft Plan of Study outlining the remaining work to be done by the IJC and its Task Force.

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. It assists the governments in managing waters along the border for the benefit of both countries.

More information, including the Plan of Study, a summary of governments' progress in implementing the interim recommendations, and the complete text of the interim report to the governments, may be found on the Commission's web site, www.ijc.org.


Washington, D.C. Frank Bevacqua 202.736.9024 Ottawa, ON Fabien Lengellé 613.995.0088