BC Studies has released a review of our book, “The Columbia River Treaty: A Primer”, as well as Eileen Delehanty Pearkes’ book which is also about the Columbia River Treaty. ACT senior advisers Bob Sandford and Jon O’Riordan co-authored this book along with ACT Executive Director Deborah Harford.
Our primer explores the initial intent of the Treaty and its success to date, its costs to Columbia Basin residents and ecosystems, and new influences the signatories must now consider. Shifts in social norms related to the environment, equity and social justice, new views on the relevance of Indigenous traditional and local knowledge, and the economic and physical effects of a changing climate—are all considered as factors in future Treaty governance. The primer concludes with a summary of the perspectives that currently exist between and within each country with respect to Treaty benefits and outlines the next steps that will take place in the negotiation process.
From the review:
“Sandford et al. make their most convincing case when they turn to environmental issues. Any revised treaty, they argue, must draw upon indigenous knowledge for ecological restoration as well as include greater flexibility to respond to climate change. Yet the authors rightly note that US and Canadian priorities will be far apart on this score. Concerned with irrigation and expanding the Columbia’s salmon runs, US officials will push for larger water releases from BC reservoirs during spring and summer, while their Canadian counterparts will want to maintain water levels to restore the riparian environment.”