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The Columbia River Treaty Revisited

Transboundary River Governance in the Face of Uncertainty

Edited by Barbara Cosens

Publication Year: 2012

The Columbia River Treaty, concluded in 1961 and ratified in 1964, split hydropower and flood control regulation of the river between Canada and the United States. Some of its provisions will expire in 2024, and either country must give ten years’ notice of any desired alteration or termination.

The Columbia River Treaty Revisited, with contributions from historians, geographers, environmental scientists, and other experts, is intended to facilitate conversation about the impending expiration. It allows the reader, through the close inspection of the Columbia River Basin, to better grasp the uncertainty of water governance. It aids efforts, already underway, to understand changes in the basin since the treaty was passed, to predict future changes, and to determine whether alteration of the treaty is ultimately advisable.

The Columbia River Treaty Revisited will appeal to those interested in water basin management–scholars, stakeholders, and residents of the Columbia River basin alike.

A Project of the Universities Consoritum on Columbia River Governance. The Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance, with representatives from universities in the U.S. and Canada, formed to offer a nonpartisan platform to facilitate an informed, inclusive, international dialogue among key decision-makers and other interested people and organizations; to connect university research to problems faced within the basin; and to expose students to a complex water resources problem. The Consortium organized the symposium on which this volume is based.

Published by: Oregon State University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Acknowledgments

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pp. viii-

This book would not have been possible without the energy and enthusiasm of the members of the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance who planned and carried out the 2009 Symposium on Transboundary Governance in the Face of Uncertainty: The Columbia River Treaty. Funding for the symposium was provided by the University of Idaho College of Law and the Thomas Foley ...

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Introduction to Parts I, II, and III

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pp. 1-11

This book is an outgrowth of the first University of Idaho College of Law Natural Resources and Environment Symposium held in 2009, which focused on the issue of transboundary water governance in the face of uncertainty. The symposium used the natural laboratory of the Columbia Basin, shared by the United States and Canada, as a focal point for discussion and the following question as the point ...

Part I: The 1964 Columbia River Treaty and the Changing Voices Since 1964

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pp. 13-

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The Columbia Exchange: A Canadian Perspective on the Negotiation of the Columbia River Treaty, 1944-1964

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pp. 14-42

Several years ago a scientist claimed that “[t]he Columbia River Treaty, with its focus on an ‘engineered river’ for flood control and winter hydropower, marks a clear transition in the Columbia’s history from a natural river to a managed water resources system” (Hamlet 2003, 271). Arguably the treaty was simply the last stage in a much longer process that had the same goal. But the scientist was right: the ...

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The Columbia River Treaty: Managing for Uncertainty

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pp. 43-49

The Columbia River Treaty is an international agreement established for the cooperative management of the Columbia River system in Canada and the United States. Since it was signed in 1961, the treaty has served as an excellent example of transboundary cooperation and governance in the face of uncertainty. This chapter will provide a brief background on the treaty, describe the many aspects of ...

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The Columbia River: Operation under the 1964 Treaty

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pp. 50-60

The Columbia River system is a massive system that affects one province in Canada and seven states in the U.S. Because of the importance of this river—in supplying hydroelectric production, navigation and irrigation, as well as the fact that the system crosses an international boundary—proper coordination of all dams in the system is vital. The state, federal, and provincial organizations involved in and affected by ...

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Changes in Empowerment: Rising Voices in Columbia Basin Resource Management

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pp. 61-68

The growing demand for a public voice in natural resource decision making discussed in Chapter 4 has little application if local capacity to participate is lacking. In the Columbia River Basin both the empowerment and capacity of basin communities to participate has grown substantially since negotiation of the 1964 treaty, suggesting that the public is prepared to participate and even likely ...

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First Nations

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pp. 69-

The Columbia River is immense and deeply engrained in the minds, hearts, souls, and livelihoods of countless historic and contemporary cultures. The earliest accounts of these relationships arise from the indigenous peoples, generically referred to as Native Americans or tribes in the United States or First Nations or aboriginal in Canada. ...

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The River People and the Importance of Salmon

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pp. 70-83

The region now known as the Pacific Northwest has been populated by Indian tribes for thousands of years. Many of these tribes lived on and around the rivers that defined their entire culture. The people depended on the salmon in these rivers for 60 percent of their diet. Salmon was, and is, the center of their religion, their culture, their economy, and their lives. They call themselves River People and the ...

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Managing Transboundary Natural Resources: An Assessment of the Need to Revise and Update the Columbia River Treaty

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pp. 84-114

The Columbia River Basin is the fourth largest river basin in the United States, equal to the size of France (see Appendix A). It includes parts of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, and British Columbia (Lang 2010; Lang and Carriker 1999). The Columbia River has ten times the flow of the Colorado River and two and one-half times the flow of the Nile River. It is one of ...

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The Past and Future of the Columbia River

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pp. 115-136

This volume uses uncertainty in environmental management as an organizing principle. We address this theme and several others, including the interconnection between natural systems and social systems, the centrality of historical context in shaping river management regimes and international agreements, the importance of humility in environmental management, and the value of balancing efficiency ...

Part II: Changes Informed by Science

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pp. 137-

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The Effects of Dams and Flow Management on Columbia River Ecosystem Processes

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pp. 138-147

The Columbia River is a dominating ecological feature of the Pacific Northwest. This river, second largest in the U.S., encompasses a basin containing much of the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and parts of Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, and British Columbia, Canada: about 660,500 square kilometers. It has physically shaped the regional landscape for millennia. Relatively speaking, the ...

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When Courts Run Regulated Rivers: The Effects of Scientific Uncertainty

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pp. 148-174

“Dams and Salmon Don’t Mix,” or so the story goes (Ellensburg Daily Record 1968). In the U.S., hydropower and anadromous salmon—fish that live in the ocean and migrate to freshwater rivers to spawn—have been in conflict for well over a century. In the Pacific Northwest, this issue has been continuously litigated since the early 1990s ...

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The Effects of Climate Change on Snow and Water Resources in the Columbia, Willamette, and McKenzie River Basins, U.S.A.: A Nested Watershed Study

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pp. 175-189

Water management relies on predictions of water availability through time, and these predictions are necessary to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan (US Global Change Research Program 2001; US Climate Change Science Program 2003). The snowmelt from the mountains of the Columbia River Basin provides critical water supply for agriculture, ecosystems, hydropower, ...

Part III: Rethinking the Columbia River Treaty

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pp. 191-

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Rethinking the Columbia River Treaty

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pp. 192-248

Earlier chapters in this volume have described the Columbia River Basin, the treaty, various perspectives of stakeholders, and some implications of science. This chapter, in contrast, is a beginning, a work in progress intended simply to organize information, frame issues, and speculate on these matters. It explores three ways of looking at the treaty and its benefits, costs, and underlying assumptions: First, at ...

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The Columbia River Treaty after 2024

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pp. 249-269

The primary focus of this volume is on the challenges and opportunities surrounding the possible continuation, termination, and/or amendment to the Columbia River Treaty after 2024. Any discussion of what should happen post treaty must be based on a clear understanding of what has happened under the treaty. This chapter will argue that the current treaty served the objectives of its parties admirably and that ...

Part IV: Governing Transboundary Resources in the Face of Uncertainty

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pp. 271-

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Introduction

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pp. 272-280

Before we move to the final chapters in the book, which take a broader and more academic view of governance, it is instructive to clarify the nature of governing natural resource and environmental issues in the twenty-first century. The first two sections of this introduction present our emerging understanding of the types of problems we face and the range of governance arrangements that have emerged to ...

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Can an International Treaty Strengthen a Region and Further Social and Environmental Inclusion? Lessons from the Columbia River Treaty

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pp. 281-314

As we approach 2014 and 2024, when the 1964 Columbia River Treaty (CRT ) may be renegotiated and then either terminated or altered, one of the key questions is whether and how a new treaty can incorporate a more diverse range of parties and interests. Since the CRT was ratified in 1964, a host of people, places, and interests have become central participants or considerations in Columbia River management ...

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Institutional Adaptation and Change in Collaborative Watershed Management: An Examination of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Fish and Wildlife Program

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pp. 315-332

Transboundary institutions, such as treaties, compacts, collaborative agreements, councils, and collaborative programs, have long been recognized as valuable mechanisms for addressing and resolving the conflicts and environmental problems that result from the use and allocation of water resources that cross multiple political jurisdictions, both regionally and internationally (Florestano 1994; Lubell ...

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Uncertainty, Society, and Resilience: A Case Study in the Columbia River Basin

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pp. 333-364

Uncertainty, in its many manifestations, is a central factor in the management of complex systems, whether environmental (van der Sluijs 2007), climatic (Risbey and Kandlikar 2007), medical, or financial (McDaniel and Driebe 2005). Nowhere is this more apparent than in the management of ecosystems heavily affected by human use. True to the characteristics of complex systems, the distinction between ...

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The Columbia River Treaty in 2014 and Beyond: International Experiences and Lessons Learned

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pp. 365-382

This chapter identifies lessons learned from recent international experience with transboundary waters governance that may be relevant to the Columbia River Basin in 2014 and beyond, with particular reference to minimum stream flows; stream flow and other hydrological changes associated with climate change; and the role of third parties in negotiating new or adjusted governance mechanisms for ...

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Public Participation and Water Management in the European Union: Experiences and Lessons Learned

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pp. 383-397

Public participation (PP) has been defined as “a process where individuals, groups and organizations choose to take an active role in making decisions that affect them” (Reed 2008) or as “allowing people to influence the outcome of plans and working processes” (CIS 2003) or, even more generically, as “the expectation that citizens have a voice in policy choices” (Bishop and Davis 2002). Regardless of ...

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The Impact of Institutional Design on the Adaptability of Governing Institutions: Implications for Transboundary River Governance

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pp. 398-409

“Transboundary” refers to political and ecological systems that cross international borders. “Transjurisdiction,” by contrast, refers to political and ecological systems that cross jurisdictions within a country. Transboundary river governance necessarily includes transjurisdictional governance. Transjurisdictional problems must be resolved for transboundary governance to function effectively. This chapter ...

Appendix: The Columbia River Treaty

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pp. 411-436

Contributors

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pp. 437-445

Index

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pp. 446-455


E-ISBN-13: 9780870716928
E-ISBN-10: 0870716921
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870716911
Print-ISBN-10: 0870716913

Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Canada. Treaties, etc. United States, 1961 Jan. 17.
  • Water resources development -- Law and legislation -- Columbia River Watershed.
  • Water resources development -- Social aspects -- Columbia River Watershed.
  • Water resources development -- Environmental aspects -- Columbia River Watershed.
  • Water resources development -- Columbia River Watershed -- Citizen participation.
  • Watershed management -- Law and legislation -- Columbia River Watershed.
  • Watershed management -- Social aspects -- Columbia River Watershed.
  • Watershed management -- Environmental aspects -- Columbia River Watershed.
  • Watershed management -- Columbia River Watershed -- Citizen participation.
  • River engineering -- Environmental aspects -- Columbia River Watershed.
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