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Water quality plan for Lake of the Woods on tap

News Release

The International Joint Commission has appointed the Co-Chairs of its International Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study Team. The team is tasked to developing a Water Quality Plan of Study for the Lake of the Woods basin to address priority issues identified during consultations throughout the basin by the former IJC Task Force for watershed governance action.
“We need a better understanding of the water quality issues in the Lake of the Woods Basin and the science behind the issues in order to recommend appropriate corrective actions,” said American Commissioner Rich Moy.
American Co-Chair Mr. Mark Brigham of the U.S. Geological Survey has expertise in environmental engineering and hydrology as applied to water quality issues and experience in leading a study team on mercury contamination for the National Water Quality Assessment Program.
Canadian Co-Chair Dr. Paul Pilon, a former Engineering Adviser to the International Joint Commission, served as a Liaison to both the former Rainy Lake Control Board, and the Rainy River Pollution Board, as well to the International Lake of the Woods Control Board and the International Lake of the Woods and Rainy River Watershed Task Force.
“There will be many opportunities for local experts, government and agency people, and industry, as well as the public, to contribute their ideas during the process, and the IJC looks forward to hearing from all concerned,” said Acting Canadian Chair Gordon Walker.
The priority issues that the Study Team will consider include:
Nutrient enrichment and harmful algal blooms (NE-HABs);
Alien aquatic invasive species (AIS);
Surface and groundwater contamination, including heavy metals and other contaminants (S&GWC) from mining and other industrial activities.