Water governance discussions at Columbia River Treaty conference

Over the weekend of September 12-14, 2019, Living Lakes Canada (LLC) attended the Columbia Basin Transboundary Conference in Kimberley, BC. The conference focused on bringing together a multitude of First Nations and Tribes, stakeholders, government, academia, non-profit, scientists and community members to discuss future priorities to be considered in the negotiations surrounding the Columbia River Treaty.

Primary focus areas of the discussions were the re-introduction of Salmon to the Upper Columbia and the inclusion of ecosystem function as an addition to the agreement, which currently has power production and flood risk management as its two key priority areas.  

Over the course of the weekend, participants heard from a variety of  groups and saw presentations on cultural history; invasive species; climate change impacts and projections; water monitoring; data sharing and deficits; future management collaboration between government, First Nations and Tribes; the balance of power generation requirements with  transparency, inclusivity, collaborations and youth involvement, to name a few.

LLC Executive Director Kat Hartwig was one of 4 presenters on the Day 3 “Transboundary Water Governance – The Future of Water Management” session that highlighted innovative proposals and approaches to water governance in the Columbia River Basin. 

Living Lakes delegates participated in workshops and for the posters session provided abstracts on the Columbia Basin Water Collaborative, the Groundwater Monitoring initiative and the eDNA-STREAM monitoring project.

The variety of speakers, presentations and representatives at this event was truly remarkable — a reminder that we are all connected in our reliance on the Columbia Basin system as a healthy functioning system, for the collective well-being of not only the people, but for all species. 

The dialogue regarding collective efforts towards a more climate resilient future was encouraging.

For the agenda and to learn more, visit the conference website at: https://transboundaryriverconference.org/.

Living Lakes Canada Executive Director Kat Hartwig presents at the Columbia Basin Transboundary Conference in Kimberley, BC September 12-14, 2019. LLC Photo

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