May 24, 2024

18th Round of Negotiations to Modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime

18th Round of Negotiations to Modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime

The United States and Canada conducted the 18th round of Columbia River Treaty regime negotiations on August 10-11 in Seattle, Washington.  As committed by President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau at the conclusion of the President’s March visit to Canada, the U.S. negotiation team has further accelerated negotiation efforts towards an agreement that meets the needs of the Columbia Basin with greater certainty and improved results.

To that end, the United States recently put forward a range of options for Canada to consider that the U.S. believes provides both countries with increased certainty in managing flood risks, planning for Treaty hydropower operations, integrating Canada’s desire for greater flexibility, establishing mechanisms for incorporating tribal and indigenous input, and taking advantage of opportunities to strengthen Treaty ecosystem provisions and collaborate on ongoing salmon reintroduction studies.  During the session negotiation teams exchanged views on this set of proposals.

The United States is focused on ensuring that resource planners, operators, and others have time to make plans to implement a modernized Treaty regime or rely on the current Treaty regime as it exists today.

The U.S. Department of State leads a negotiating team consisting of representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The U.S. delegation also included expert-advisors from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.

On August 22, the U.S. government will hold a virtual listening session to engage the public about treaty regime modernization, the third such session in 2023.  To register for the listening session scheduled for Tuesday, August 22 from 5-6:30 p.m. (PST) go to .  Direct questions regarding this event to [email protected].

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