Lighthouse on Lake Champlain with view of mountains

Water Quality


"...boundary waters and the waters flowing across the boundary shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other."

-Article IV, Boundary Waters Treaty, 1909

This short but powerful statement requires that Canada and the United States ensure that neither country will pollute water that flows across their common boundary to an extent that would cause harm to health or property in the other country.  This clause and subsequent direction from the two governments has served as the impetus for the International Joint Commission’s work on water quality since its inception.  

If the governments have questions or differences concerning water quality along the border, they may ask the IJC to study these issues and assist them with meeting their treaty commitments. To that end, the governments can ask the IJC to investigate or monitor water quality, or to alert them to any water quality concerns the IJC finds in the course of fulfilling its duties.

IJC Boards with Water Quality Responsibilities:

IJC Great Lakes Advisory Boards with Water Quality Responsibilities: 

Other IJC Water Quality activities:   

Past IJC Water Quality References: