Columbia River Treaty

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Columbia River Treaty - Projects

The Columbia River Treaty required Canada to build three storage dams - KeenleysideDuncan and Mica - in the Canadian Columbia Basin, with 15.5 million acre-feet of Canadian storage. It also allowed the construction of Libby Dam by the U.S. in Montana, with its reservoir reaching into British Columbia, adding another five million acre-feet of storage to the system.

The Treaty states that the entities will agree annually on operating plans and the resulting downstream power benefits for the sixth succeeding year of operation thereafter.  This procedure will continue during the life of the Treaty, providing to both the entities, in advance, an assured plan of operation of the Canadian storage and a determination of the resulting downstream power benefits for the next succeeding five years.

In addition to the assured plan of operation of Canadian storage, a detailed operating plan for Canadian Storage may be prepared as well as supplemental agreements:

Detailed Operating Plans for Canadian Treaty Projects:

  • Article XIV (2) of the Treaty allows the Entities to prepare the Detailed Operating Plan for the upcoming year.
  • The DOP includes the process for determining real-time Canadian project operations.
  • Allows for the mutually beneficial changes to the DOP for power and non-power purposes.

Examples of prior Supplemental Agreements:

  • Nonpower Uses Agreement
    • US Flow Augmentation storage
    • US Vernita Bar minimum flows
    • Canadian Arrow Level Enhancement
    • Canadian Trout spawning
    • Canadian Whitefish
  • Canadian Whitefish Spawning
  • Arrow Summer Storage Agreement


  • Libby Coordination Agreement
    • Libby/Arrow storage swap