“Emerging Issues and Public Engagement in the Transboundary Columbia River Basin”

Facilitated Public Dialogue and Information Sessions November 13th & 14th, 2024 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

Spokane, WA USA (tentative location)

Please join us on November 13th & 14th 2024 for a post-election gathering to engage residents of the international Columbia River Basin in public education and dialogue on transboundary issues and public involvement in river governance. We’ll build on our 2019 gathering in Kimberley B.C., and last year’s 2023 virtual Re-engagement Symposium. Much is happening in the Basin. We heard from last year’s participants that people want further citizen dialogue, participation, and collaborative public engagement. The 2024 conference is hosted by the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance, the One River – Ethics Matter Project, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and the North American Youth Parliament for Water.


At the 2019 conference convened in Kimberley, participants made it clear that formal transboundary public engagement is critical to the future governance of the shared Columbia River Basin. Last year the public spoke out on issues such as salmon reintroduction, Reconciliation, transition to carbon neutral energy, climate change, water quality along the Kootenay and Elk Rivers, agriculture, operation of the dams, the Arrow Lakes, the role of youth in the Basin, and of course governance. Following those dialogues, this year’s guiding question asks: “What is the role of public engagement in the transboundary Columbia River Basin and what form of public education is necessary to facilitate that role?


In this two-day symposium, we will begin with an overview and update on the Columbia River Treaty (Canadian and USA negotiators are still at work) followed by updates on emerging transboundary issues. Next, we’ll turn to the ethical and intergenerational goals of public engagement, youth perspectives, and discussions of existing issues identified at last year’s event. On Day Two we’ll move into small breakout sessions for deeper discussions on the above topics, concluding with a dialogue on what people want for the future of public engagement in governance in the Columbia River Basin. These dialogues will form the basis for the ongoing organization of bi-annually held, virtual and in-person transboundary conferences in 2025 and beyond. For this year’s symposium, depending on fund-raising, we are planning both an in-person and virtual meeting.


Day 1 Recording AccessDay 2 Recording Access

Thank you to all who participated in the “Columbia River Transboundary Water Governance and Ethics Symposium 2023 – Re-Engaging in Public Dialogue”. The gathering was a resounding success, bringing over 440 people together from around the global and especially those who are passionate about the Columbia River Basin. Our Planning and Steering Committees are now in dialogue to plan how best to go forward for the future Governance of the Columbia River Basin. Listening to the positive comments from participants and analyzing the polls and surveys, we will now be planning another in-person Symposium in November this year – 2024. Discussions on the possibility of creating an International River Basin Organization for the transboundary Columbia River Basin will continue with our community of of scholars, practitioners, activists, and community members. There is much to plan so we ask that you stay tuned to this website for further updates as progress advances towards understanding how a governance system approach, based on inclusivity and the integration of all CRB residents including how and where capacity-building for citizen engagement could be cultivated to attain greater resilience to social and environmental change. Please do not hesitate to contact any one of the planning committee members to share your ideas via email and please register on this website if you wish to receive further communications. We look forward to the future governance of the Columbia River Basin and sincerely hope that 2024 brings an abundance of health, happiness, Peace and love to the Columbia River Basin and the Globe!!!!