Previous strategic priorities and those that are nearing completion (i.e., data harmonization and water quality modelling ) have focused on the development of tools and techniques the boards needed to address transboundary issues. The Commission is now considering a new set of priorities that will increase board and public understanding of changes to ecosystems due to natural or anthropogenic influences.
Three overarching issues have been identified as new strategic priorities for the IWI in the IJC 2015-2020 Strategic Plan:
- Impacts on water quantity and quality in transboundary basins from climate change.
- Impacts on water quality in transboundary basins from nutrient loading and eutrophication/harmful algae blooms.
- Impacts on the quality of transboundary waters from heavy metal and associated contaminants.
In order to meet these new priorities, the Commission has begun incorporating the most current climate science and climate scenarios into recent studies . The Commission is also working with boards, governments, and the public to refine and communicate these goals, and develop an implementation plan to ensure that IWI projects put the goals into action.