The Columbia River Treaty, signed in 1964, calls for two "entities" to implement the Treaty
— a U.S. Entity and a Canadian Entity. The U.S. Entity, created 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 U.S. Entity is committed to a multi-year regional conversation to address a broad
range of resource management issues related to the Columbia River. The U.S. Entity is undertaking a
series of studies regarding current and potential future operations under the Treaty.
The goal is a recommendation with broad regional support from the U.S. Entity to the U.S.
Department of State by the end of 2013 on which elements the Pacific Northwest would like
the Department of State to pursue in negotiations with Canada.
Collectively known as the Columbia River Treaty 2014/2024 Review, this multi-year effort
is working to provide information critical to a U.S. Entity recommendation through
evaluation of the value of Treaty benefits to the region and consideration of contemporary
concerns that reach beyond flood risk management and power generation. Integral to the Treaty
Review process is the U.S. Entity’s
direct consultation with the Sovereign Review Team, comprised of representatives of the four Northwest states,
15 tribal governments and 11 federal agencies. Supporting the Sovereign Review Team is the
Sovereign Technical Team responsible for completing the technical work that informs the
Sovereign Review Team and the U.S. Entity.
The Treaty also established the Permanent Engineering Board (PEB),
set up by the two governments to monitor and report on the results being
achieved under the Treaty. Additionally, the board assists in reconciling differences
concerning technical or operational matters that may arise between the Entities.
The U.S. Secretaries of Army and Energy each appoint a PEB member and the governments
of Canada and British Columbia each appoint a Canadian member.
Over the years, the Columbia River Treaty has provided significant
benefits on both sides of the border through coordinated river management. It remains
the standard against which other international water coordination agreements are