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2023 Water Leaders Class Examines Ways to Leverage Green Infrastructure to Help Manage California’s Water
Rising stars in the water world chosen for highly competitive leadership program

Image shows members of the 2023 Water Leaders cohort.Twenty-two early to mid-career water professionals from across California have been chosen for the 2023 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class, the Water Education Foundation’s highly competitive and respected career development program.

This Water Leaders cohort includes engineers, lawyers, resource specialists, scientists and others from a range of public and private entities and nongovernmental organizations from throughout the state. The roster for the 2023 class can be found here.

Announcement

Explore a Watershed by Land & Water on our Optional Water 101 Tour
Journey from the Foothills to the Delta the Day after our Water 101 Workshop

Attendance at our annual Water 101 Workshop includes the option of participating in a daylong ‘watershed’ journey on Friday, Feb. 24, that will take you from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, along the American River and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The tour includes an on-the-water lunch cruise aboard the River City Queen as we head down the Sacramento River from the confluence of the American River to the community of Freeport, the “Gateway to the Delta.”

Among the tour stops are Folsom Lake, Nimbus Dam, salmon spawning habitat in the American River, Freeport Regional Water Facility, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Delta farmland and the Delta Cross Channel.

Led by Foundation staff and featuring a host of other water experts, the tour will also include a firsthand look at efforts to better handle the effects of climate change through a “Supershed Approach” that stretches from the headwaters to the valley floor.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Mercury News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Before and after: Lake Oroville, California’s second-largest reservoir, has risen 182 feet

One of the best places to see how dramatically big storms this winter have changed California’s water picture is three hours north of the Bay Area, in the foothills east of Sacramento Valley. There, Lake Oroville, the second-largest reservoir in California and a key component of the state’s water system, has undergone a breathtaking transformation. Sixteen months ago, the reservoir was so parched from severe drought that it was just 22% full. For the first time since it opened in 1967, its power plant had shut down because there wasn’t enough water to spin the turbines and generate electricity. Now Oroville reservoir is 65% full. Since its lowest point on Sept. 30, 2021, the massive lake’s level has risen 182 feet, boosted by nine atmospheric river storms in January.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

At the heart of Colorado River crisis, the mighty ‘Law of the River’ looms large

It’s a crisis nearly 100 years in the making: Seven states — all reliant on a single mighty river as a vital source of water — failed to reach an agreement this week on how best to reduce their use of supplies from the rapidly shrinking Colorado River. At the heart of the feud is the “Law of the River,” a body of agreements, court decisions, contracts and decrees that govern the river’s use and date back to 1922, when the Colorado River Compact first divided river flows among the states. But as California argues most strongly for strict adherence to this system of water apportionment, the other states say it makes little sense when the river’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, continues to decline toward “dead pool” level, which would effectively cut off the Southwest from its water lifeline. The Law of the River, they say, is getting in the way of a solution.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

15 Native American tribes to receive $580 million in federal money for water rights settlement

Fifteen Native American tribes will get a total of $580 million in federal money this year for water rights settlements, the Biden administration announced Thursday. The money will help carry out the agreements that define the tribes’ rights to water from rivers and other sources and pay for pipelines, pumping stations, and canals that deliver it to reservations. “Water rights are crucial to ensuring the health, safety and empowerment of Tribal communities,” U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement Thursday that acknowledged the decades many tribes have waited for the funding. Access to reliable, clean water and basic sanitation facilities on tribal lands remains a challenge across many Native American reservations.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: 2023 Water Leaders Class examines ways to leverage green infrastructure to help manage California’s water

Twenty-two early to mid-career water professionals from across California have been chosen for the 2023 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class, the Water Education Foundation’s highly competitive and respected career development program. This Water Leaders cohort includes engineers, lawyers, resource specialists, scientists and others from a range of public and private entities and nongovernmental organizations from throughout the state. The roster for the 2023 class can be found here. The Water Leaders program, led by Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bowles, deepens knowledge on water, enhances individual leadership skills and prepares participants to take an active, cooperative approach to decision-making about water resource issues. Leading experts and top policymakers serve as mentors to class members.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map

Wetlands

Sacramento National Wildlife RefugeWetlands are among the most important and hardest-working ecosystems in the world, rivaling rain forests and coral reefs in productivity of life. 

They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Aquapedia background

Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 237 feet below sea level.

Lake Oroville shows the effects of drought in 2014.

Drought

Drought—an extended period of limited or no precipitation—is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom-and-bust patterns. During California’s 2012–2016 drought, much of the state experienced severe drought conditions: significantly less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher temperatures. Those same conditions reappeared early in 2021 prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom in May to declare drought emergencies in watersheds across 41 counties in California.

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Important People in California Water History

Read about the history people who played a significant role in the water history of California.