A Border Runs Through It: Exploring Transboundary Institutional Support for Environmental Flows for Ecosystem Function in the Columbia River Basin

Date created: 
Columbia River Treaty
Transboundary river management
Ecosystem function
Climate change
Environmental flows

This study examines the role of institutional cooperation between the United States and Canada under the Columbia River Treaty in supporting flow regimes that sustain the health and function of the ecosystem in the Columbia River Basin. Methods employed include a literature review, a limited set of case studies, and an online survey questionnaire. These methods are used to explore regional perspectives on the existing transboundary cooperative regime in the Basin, to identify key concerns, and to identify institutional alternatives that may meet the identified concerns. This study then presents an analysis of the identified institutional alternatives. This study finds that the environmental flow paradigm and the concept of basin-wide water use planning underpin institutional alternatives that best meet ecosystem function objectives in the Basin. These findings are used to recommend a portfolio of institutional options.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
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Doug McArthur
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.