The Columbia River basin is the fourth largest river basin in North America, including parts of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Alberta, and British Columbia. It has ten times the flow of the Colorado River and is one of the most hydroelectrically developed river systems in the world. While this infrastructure has generated many benefits in the form of power and flood control, many people argue that it has adversely impacted fish, navigation, irrigation, recreation, and indigenous cultures.
The Columbia River Basin covers 258,000 square miles and includes parts of seven states and one Canadian province.
Recognizing the need for dialogue among tribes, stakeholders, government officials, and researchers throughout the transboundary Columbia River basin, the Center – along with colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University — co-founded the consortium in 2008.
The consortium provides a neutral forum to facilitate informed dialogue on the Columbia River Treaty and related issues. It convenes an annual symposium and engages graduate students in exploring alternative scenarios on how to revise and update the Treaty.