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Columbia River Treaty
The Columbia River Treaty, signed in 1964, calls for two "entities" to implement the Treaty — a U.S. Entity and a Canadian Entity. The U.S. Entity, created by the President, consists of the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (chair) and the Northwestern Division Engineer (member) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Canadian Entity, appointed by the Canadian Federal Cabinet, is the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (B.C. Hydro).  The year 2024 is a significant date for the Treaty. It marks the end of 60 years of pre-paid flood control space from Canada. In addition, either Canada or the United States can terminate most of the provisions of the Treaty any time on or after Sep. 16, 2024, with a minimum 10 years written advance notice (hence, the reference to 2014).

The U.S. Entity forwarded its recommendation concerning the future of the Columbia River Treaty with Canada to the United States Department of State on December 13, 2013.  The Entity developed this recommendation in collaboration and consultation with the region through the extensive, multi-year Columbia River Treaty Review. The constructive involvement the region’s sovereign states, federally recognized tribes and hundreds of stakeholders helped the Entity reach this important milestone. The Entity’s Treaty Review team expresses their profound thanks to everyone who engaged with us for their involvement in this process.

The recommendation and cover letter are available below. 
 
Next Steps
​According to the Department of State, following receipt of the regional recommendation in December 2013, the U.S. Government will take-up formally the question of the Columbia River Treaty. That process will be a Federal, interagency review under the general direction of the National Security Council on behalf of the President. The Department of State has been designated as the agency to coordinate and oversee this process on behalf of the National Security Council.

How or if operations under the Treaty, or the Treaty itself, may change -- and whether or not the U.S. will decide to discuss any matters with Canada is not yet determined and is ultimately a matter for the President. The Federal interagency process, through the Department of State, may reach back to the region and elsewhere for advice on specific issues or technical matters following the December 2013 submission of the final regional recommendation. The U.S. Entity is committed to supporting this effort

At the start of 2014, it is possible that while the Federal Government is reviewing the regional recommendation and working with other stakeholders who also hold national and/or regional interests in the Treaty, there may be a period of time in which there are little or no public updates on the process. This is considered a normal part of the U.S. foreign policy process with respect to our country’s interest in a treaty with another country. It should also be expected that the relevant committees of the Congress may request information on this process, both from elements of the Federal Government and other stakeholders.

The U.S. Entity and its Northwest partners stand ready to work with Canadian counterparts, in coordination with the Department of State, to develop the details of a modernized treaty that is fair, balanced and sustainable.
Future Updates
As the national level review progresses, the Entity will update stakeholders when there is new information to share.
 

 U.S. Entity

 
​For more information and to learn how to participate in the review of the Columbia River Treaty’s future, visit the website.
 
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