With Water Treaty Set To Expire, Future of Columbia River Up for Debate

"On an overcast day in early August, a flotilla of five canoes pushed away from a jetty in Astoria, Ore., near where the Pacific breaks on Desolation Point, at the mouth of the Columbia River."

"Eight weeks later, the Sea to the Source expedition is approaching the last leg of a 2,000-kilometre trip that is taking the paddlers across dramatic landscapes and past more than 14 hydro dams to the river’s headwaters in British Columbia.

The expedition was planned not to promote tourism or retrace the routes of explorers, but to focus attention on the environmental health of the largest river in the Pacific Northwest – and on an international water treaty that is set to expire. With 10 years’ advance notice, either Canada or the United States can terminate the Columbia River Treaty in 2024, which means the deadline to renegotiate or abandon one of the most important water agreements in North America is fast approaching. And debate on it is heating up on both sides of the border."

Mark Hume and Justine Hunter report for the Toronto Globe and Mail September 28, 2013.

Source: Toronto Globe & Mail, 09/30/2013