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Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty's note: On Friday, Dec. 8, the United States State Department issued a brief announcement that talks between the U.S. and Canada to modernize the 50+ year old Columbia River Treaty would begin in early 2018. Senator Patty Murray's statement about this announcement is posted below the State Department media note. -jb

Media Note: Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty Regime Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 7, 2017 The United States and Canada will begin negotiations to modernize the landmark Columbia River Treaty regime in early 2018. Certain provisions of the Treaty—a model of transboundary natural resource cooperation since 1964—are set to expire in 2024. The Columbia River’s drainage basin is roughly the size of France and includes parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and British Columbia. The Treaty’s flood risk and hydropower operations provide substantial benefits to millions of people on both sides of the border. The Treaty has also facilitated additional benefits such as supporting the river’s ecosystem, irrigation, municipal water use, industrial use, navigation, and recreation. For further information, please email


Friday, December 8th, 2017

Kerry Arndt,, (Press Secretary)
Michael Brewer,, (Deputy Press Secretary)
Press Office: 202-224-2834

Senator Murray’s Statement on Key Announcement on Columbia River Treaty Negotiations

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement in response to news that the United States and Canada will begin negotiations in early 2018 to modernize the Columbia River Treaty.

“The Columbia River Treaty is of immense importance to the economy, environment, and culture of Washington state and the Pacific Northwest. It is clear the Columbia River Treaty in its current form needs to be updated to meet the modern-day issues facing the Columbia River Basin, the region, and the nation. The outcome of pending negotiations will have major impacts far into the future for families in my home state and beyond. I welcome the news that the United States and Canada will begin negotiations, and I support these critical talks moving forward in an efficient, constructive manner that benefits every party involved.“

To read more about the Columbia River Treaty, please click here .


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