Columbia River Basin

Columbia River

The Columbia River basin is the fourth largest river basin in North America, producing ten times the flow of the Colorado River. Since 1964, the transboundary river has been governed by the Columbia River Treaty. While the Treaty has effectively achieved its two primary objectives -- to mitigate flood control and to generate hydroelectric power – conversations are underway to update the Treaty by including ecosystem function as a third primary objective. In addition to the Treaty, land, water, and other natural resource issues are governed by numerous local, state, federal agencies; tribes and First Nations; and more than 25 transboundary collaborative initiatives and over 100 local watershed councils.

Recognizing the need for dialogue among government officials, indigenous people, and numerous stakeholders throughout the transboundary basin, the Center – along with colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University -- co-founded the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance in 2008. The consortium (1) convenes and facilitates nonpartisan forums for transboundary dialogue on Columbia River governance, including the Columbia River Treaty; (2) provides decision-relevant information by connecting university research to the needs and interests of constituents within the basin; and (3) inspires and prepares future leaders by engaging students in research, education, and policy dialogues.

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Please contact Matt McKinney for more information.