UBC Graduate Research

A Policy Analysis of the Columbia River Treaty Using Value-Focused Thinking and Integrative Bargaining to Create Value When Renegotiating the Treaty Ginalias, Jeffrey L.


The Columbia River Treaty is an agreement between Canada and the United States for management of an international river Basin. The Treaty has been successful for the purposes in which it was intended, but there is criticism that it fails to properly address some of the costs associated with implementation and that it lacks flexibility to address changes in values and uses of the river Basin over time. An opportunity is approaching in the near future to terminate or renegotiate the Treaty. Discussions on this are beginning on both sides of the border. The issues and challenges surrounding this opportunity are tremendous. The Treaty itself provides no guidance for how this event should be managed. This project examines the Treaty, the history leading to ratification, identifies the major provisions of the Treaty, and discusses the effects termination would have. It highlights some of the issues that have arisen since ratification that stakeholders wish to see addressed in managing the Basin. From this, the project attempts to provide some insight and analysis on structured decision-making and negotiation strategies that may enable the parties to create the best agreement possible on this complex issue.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International