Treaty Between the United States of America and Canada Relating to the Uses of the Waters of the Niagara River
Signed at Washington, 27 February 1950; in force 10 October 1950
The United States of America and Canada, recognizing their primary obligation to preserve and enhance the scenic beauty of the Niagara Falls and River and, consistent with that obligation, their common interest in providing beneficial use of the waters of that River,
Considering that the quantity of water which may be diverted from the Niagara River for power purposes is at present fixed by Article V of the treaty with respect to the boundary waters between the United States of America and Canada, signed at Washington, January 11, 1909,2 between the United States of America and Great Britain, and by notes exchanged between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada in 1940,3 1941,4 19485 authorizing for emergency purposes temporary additional diversions,
Recognizing that the supply of low-cost power in northeastern United States and southeastern Canada is now insufficient to meet existing and potential requirements and considering that the water resources of the Niagara River may be more fully and efficiently used than is now permitted by international agreement.
Desiring to avoid a continuing waste of a great natural resource and to make it possible for the United States of America and Canada to develop, for the benefit of their respective peoples, equal shares of the waters of the Niagara River available for power purposes, and,
Realizing that any redevelopment of the Niagara River for power in the United States of America and Canada is not advisable until the total diversion of water which may be made available for power purposes is authorized permanently and any restrictions on the use thereof are agreed upon,
Have resolved to conclude a treaty in furtherance of these ends and for that purpose have appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
United States of America:
Dean Acheson, Secretary of State of the United States of America, and
H.H. Wrong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of to the United States of America,
Who, after having communicated to one another their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following article
This Treaty shall terminate the third, fourth, and fifth paragraphs of Article V of the treaty between the United States of America and Great Britain relating to boundary waters and questions arising between the United States of America and Canada dated January 11, 1909, and the provisions embodied in the notes exchanged between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada at Washington on May 20, 1941, 1 October 27, 1941, 6 November 27, 1941, 7 and December 23, 1948 regarding temporary diversions of water of the Niagara River for power purposes.
The United States of America and Canada agree to complete in accordance with the objectives envisaged in the final report submitted to the United States of America and Canada on December 11, 1929, by the Special International Niagara Board, the remedial works which are necessary to enhance the beauty of the Falls by distributing the waters so as to produce an unbroken crestline on the Falls. The United States of America and Canada shall request the International Joint Commission to make recommendations as to the nature and design of such remedial works and the allocation of the task of construction as between the United States of America and Canada. Upon approval by the United States of America and Canada of such recommendations the construction shall be undertaken pursuant thereto under the supervision of the International Joint Commission and shall be completed within four years after the date upon which the United States of America and Canada shall have approved the said recommendations. I total cost of the works shall be divided equally between the United States of America and Canada.
The amount of water which shall be available for the purposes included in Articles IV and V of this Treaty shall be the total outflow from Lake Erie to the
Welland Canal and the Niagara River (including the Black Rock Canal) less the amount of water used and necessary for domestic and sanitary purposes and for the service of canals for the purposes of navigation. Waters which are being diverted into the natural drainage of the Great Lakes System through the existing Long Lac-Ogoki works shall continue to be governed by the notes exchanged between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada at Washington on October 14 and 31 and November 7, 1940,9 and shall not be included in the waters allocated under the provisions of this Treaty.
In order to reserve sufficient amounts of water in the in the Niagara River for scenic purposes, no diversions of the water specified in Article III of this Treaty shall be made for power purposes which will reduce the flow over Niagara Falls to less than one hundred thousand cubic feet per second each day between the hours of eight a.m., E.S.T., and ten p.m., E.S.T., during the period of each year beginning April 1 and ending September 15, both dates inclusive, or to less than one hundred thousand cubic feet per second each day between the hours of eight a.m., E.S.T., and eight p.m., E.S.T., during the period of each year beginning September 16 and ending October 31, both dates inclusive, or to less than fifty thousand cubic feet per second at any other time; the minimum rate of fifty thousand cubic feet per second to be increased when additional water is required for flushing ice above the Falls or through the rapids below the Falls. No diversion of the amounts of water, specified in this Article to flow over the Falls, shall be made for power purposes between the Falls and Lake Ontario.
All water specified in Article III of this Treaty in excess of water for scenic purposes in Article IV may be diverted for power purposes.
The waters made available for power purposes by the provisions of this shall be divided equally between the United States of America and Canada.
The United States of America and Canada shall each designate a representative who, acting jointly, shall ascertain and determine the amounts of water available for the purposes of this Treaty, and shall record the same, and shall also record the amounts of water used for power diversions.
Until such time as there are facilities in the territory of one party to use its full share of the diversions of water for power purposes agreed upon in this Treaty, the other party may use the portion of that share for the use of which facilities are not available.
Neither party shall be responsible for physical injury or damage to persons or property in the territory of the other which may be caused by any act authorized or provided for by this Treaty
This Treaty shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification exchanged at Ottawa. The Treaty shall come into force upon the date of the exchange of ratifications and continue in force for a period of fifty years and thereafter until one year from the day on which either party shall give notice to the other party of its intention of terminating the Treaty.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty.
DONE in duplicate at Washington this twenty-seventh day of February, 1950.
the United States of America
H. H. Wrong