Columbia Basin Trust

Columbia River Treaty
Learn about our past.
Think about our future.




Is the earliest the Columbia River Treaty can be terminated by either Canada or the U.S.

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Canada or the U.S.would need to give a minimum of 10 years' written notice


Columbia River Treaty

What is it?

The 1964 Columbia River Treaty (CRT) is an international agreement between Canada and the United States to coordinate flood control and optimize hydroelectric energy production on both sides of the border.


Why does is matter?

Decisions about the future of the CRT could influence how Canada operates local dams and resevoirs for power, flood control and other values, including the environment. Those changes could impact, among other things, water levels, annual payments from the U.S. to BC, and the amount of hydroelectricity generated in the Columbia Basin.

Why learn about it now?

The year 2024 is the earliest either Canada or the U.S. may terminate the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) provided 10 years' advance notice is given in 2014. Both countries have undertaken extensive consultations during their repective review of the current CRT.

On March 14, 2014, the Province of BC announced its decision to continue the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) and seek improvements within its existing framework. Fourteen principles will guide future discussion and, among others, include equitable sharing of benefits from transboundary coordination and recognizing that BC is impacted CRT operations.

On December 13, 2013, the U.S. Entity made its final recommendations to the U.S. federal government. It recommended a modern treaty framework that balances power production, flood control and ecosystem functions. The U.S. will coordinate a review on behalf of the President of the United States.

Explore a Timeline of Key CRT Dates

Click on a date to learn more and expand the images. Click on the X in the top right of the fact box to close it. Click anywhere on the timeline and use your mouse, touch screen or arrow keys to move left or right through the CRT timeline. View Timeline Full Screen

For more Basin history key dates click here.

Columbia Basin Trust supports efforts by the people of the Basin to create a legacy of social, economic
and environmental well-being and to achieve greater self-sufficiency for present and future generations.