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Press Release

Bishop, Lamborn Applaud the Start of Columbia River Treaty Renegotiations between United States, Canada

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Subcommittee on Water, Power & Oceans Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) issued the following statement today as the United States and Canada begin negotiations to renew the Columbia River Treaty which balances Canadian Flood Control with U.S. Hydropower Production.

“The Columbia River Treaty is critical to ensuring a reliable supply of clean, renewable hydropower in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia River Power System is the backbone of the regional electric grid, and it is about time this half-century-old agreement catch up to the 21st century. We urge the U.S. delegation to pursue a modified Canadian Entitlement that accounts for the realistic value that Canadian river operations provide to the Columbia River Basin here in the United States. We applaud the Trump administration and State Department for prioritizing this important negotiation process and for listening to the millions of water and power users who depend on the Columbia River.”


As a result of the 1948 flood season which ravaged the Columbia River basin and flooded communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada, the United States and Canada negotiated the Columbia River Treaty. Implemented in 1964, the treaty authorized the development of four dams on the Columbia River. The treaty further established terms governing the sharing of upstream flood control and downstream hydropower benefits.

Although the Columbia River Treaty has provided for cooperative international river operations, the treaty’s 50-year history has demonstrated opportunities for modernization. Specifically, it is critical to reassess the value that Canadian flood protection provides, and ensure that the amount paid to Canada in hydropower benefits reflects this realistic valuation. The first round of negotiations begins today in Washington, D.C.