Central Asia Cross Border Energy & Water Management Exchange Visit

Government officials, energy and water management experts from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan responsible for international transboundary energy and water issues traveled to Portland, Oregon the week of January 26 – February 2, 2013 for an in-depth study of the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada. The Columbia River Treaty is widely recognized as one of the most successful long-term transboundary energy and water agreements and an excellent model for international energy and water cooperation.

The one-week program provided the delegates with a thorough overview of the Columbia River Treaty from both the U.S. and Canadian perspectives.  Meetings were conducted with all of the U.S. and Canadian organizations involved in implementing the treaty including the Northwest Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which jointly serve as the U.S. Entities for the treaty, and BC Hydro, which serves as the Canadian Entity. Meetings were also held with many of the various governing, regulatory and planning bodies in the region including the Northwest Power Pool, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, the Columbia River Federal Caucus, and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

The most important result of the program was the opportunity the delegates were given to see first-hand how the U.S. and Canada successfully collaborate to implement effective integrated energy and water resource management along the Columbia River basin while at the same time addressing the various upstream and downstream water demands.