Signed in 1961, the Columbia River Treaty calls for two “entities” to be designated to implement arrangements under the Treaty — a U.S. Entity and a Canadian Entity. The U.S. Entity, designated 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, as the current flood risk management provisions change to a less-defined approach. In addition, it is the earliest date at which the Treaty can be terminated, provided that either Canada or the United States provides ten years’ written notice.
The U.S. Entity forwarded its recommendation concerning the future of the Columbia River Treaty with Canada to the U.S. Department of State on December 13, 2013. Known as the “Regional Recommendation,” the U.S. Entity developed this recommendation in collaboration and consultation with the region through an extensive, multi-year Columbia River Treaty Review. The constructive involvement of the region’s states, federally recognized tribes, and hundreds of stakeholders helped the U.S. Entity reach this important milestone. With the conclusion of the Regional Recommendation process, the U.S. government conducted a review concerning the post-2024 future of the Treaty. (See also the cover letter sent to the U.S. Department of State regarding the Regional Recommendation.)