Columbia River Treaty
Canada and the U.S. were facing two major challenges in the Columbia
Basin after the Second World War:
the "untamed" Columbia River was causing periodic and sometimes
devastating flooding, and
an upswing in the economy and population increased the need for
additional energy sources.
To solve these challenges, water needed to be stored in the upper
River Treaty (CRT) was signed by both the U.S. and Canada on
January 17, 1961. It was ratified by the U.S. in 1961 and by Canada
in 1964. Instruments of ratification covering the Treaty and
Protocol were exchanged on September 16, 1964.
The Treaty's two purposes are to:
Under the CRT, Canada agreed to build three storage dams -
Duncan and Mica
- in the Canadian Columbia Basin. A fourth dam -
Libby Dam - was built in the U.S., with
its reservoir reaching into British Columbia.