Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Reports

Apostle Islands caves in Lake Superior

In the first three versions of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the IJC reported every two years on progress by Canada and the United States to achieve the agreement's goals and objectives and provided advice and recommendations on any issue related to the quality of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The First Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality was released in 1982 and the last, the 16th, in 2013. 

The 2012 agreement extends the reporting period to every three years and expands the IJC’s assessment to include a review of progress reports required by the two countries in the same triennial cycle.

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Triennial Assessment of Progress Reports

The IJC consults with its Great Lakes Water Quality Board and Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, who complete research and provide findings via their own reports on a variety of issues facing the lakes, and provides:

  • a summary of public input on the governments’ progress report, known as the Progress Report of the Parties
  • an assessment of the extent to which programs and other measures are achieving the agreement’s general and specific objectives
  • consideration of the governments’ most recent State of the Lakes report
  • other advice and recommendations.

The IJC’s first Triennial Assessment of Progress report was released in November 2017, as well as a Highlights report, a Technical Appendix and a Summary of Public Comment Appendix.

The IJC's second Triennial Assessment of Progress report was released in December 2020, as well as a Story Map compilation of public comment videos.


Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Biennial Reports (1982 - 2013)