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Announcement

July Headwaters Tour Filling Up Quickly; Save The Dates for Water Summit, NorCal Tour in the Fall
Our 2023 Annual Report is Hot Off the Press!; Last Call for June International Groundwater Conference

As we head into summer, don’t miss your chance to explore the statewide impact of forest health on water resources in July and be sure to mark your calendars for our popular fall programming!

  • Northern California Tour, October 16-18: Explore the Sacramento River and its tributaries through a scenic landscape while learning about the issues associated with a key source for the state’s water supply. Registration opens June 12!
  • Water Summit, October 30: Attend the Water Education Foundation’s premier annual event hosted in Sacramento with leading policymakers and experts addressing critical water issues in California and across the West. More details coming soon!
Announcement

Journalist & Author Mark Arax to Provide Keynote Address at 3ʳᵈ International Groundwater Conference in June
Unique Gathering in San Francisco to Examine Groundwater Science & Policy in Agricultural Regions Worldwide

Mark Arax, an award-winning journalist and author of books chronicling agriculture and water issues in California’s Central Valley, will provide the keynote talk at an international groundwater conference next month.

The event, Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: The 3ʳᵈ International Conference Linking Science & Policy, returns to San Francisco June 18-20 for the first time since 2016 and will highlight advances on sustaining groundwater in agricultural regions across California and around the world.

View the draft program and register while space is available, including the free pre-conference workshops on Monday, June 17.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Should clean air and water be the right of every Californian?

A contentious proposal to amend California’s Constitution to enshrine environmental rights for all citizens has been delayed for at least another year after it failed to gain traction ahead of a looming deadline. ACA 16, also known as the green amendment, sought to add a line to the state Constitution’s Declaration of Rights affirming that all people “shall have a right to clean air and water and a healthy environment.” The single sentence sounds straightforward enough, but by the start of this week, the proposal had not yet made it through the state Assembly or moved into the state Senate. Both houses would need to pass the proposal by June 27 in order to get it on voter ballots this fall. … The [Chamber of Commerce] said compliance costs could lead to economic impacts for businesses, communities and local governments. …”

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Sparks fly as Tulare County agency is accused of being “unable and unwilling” to curb over pumping

Fireworks were already popping between board members of a key Tulare County groundwater agency recently over an 11th hour attempt to rein in pumping in the severely overdrafted area. The main issue at the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) meeting June 6 was whether to require farmers in subsidence prone areas to install meters and report their extractions to the agency, which is being blamed for almost single handedly putting the entire subbasin in jeopardy of a state takeover. … In the end, the Eastern Tule board voted 6-0 to require all landowners in the subsidence management area along the canal to meter their wells and report extractions by January 1.

Related groundwater articles: 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California gets federal funding for climate-ready workforce

California is among nine U.S. states and territories selected to receive $60 million in federal funding as part of a significant effort to build a nationwide climate-ready workforce. The investment from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will support job development efforts in coastal and Great Lakes communities around the country, including $9.5 million to establish the Los Angeles County Climate Ready Employment Council at Long Beach City College. … U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo [said in a statement,] “Climate change accelerates the need for a new generation of skilled workers who can help communities address a wide range of climate impacts including sea level rise, flooding, water quality issues and the need for solutions such as renewable energy.”

Related climate equity articles:

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

HAF+WRCF launches new fund for Klamath Basin as dams come down

Amid the historic removal of dams on the Klamath River, the Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation announced the launch of a new fund to support projects in the drastically changing Klamath Basin. According to a Tuesday news release, the fund will support “grantmaking to bolster community healing, Tribal self-determination, science and restoration, storytelling, climate resilience, regenerative agriculture, environmental stewardship, and more.” Starting with $10 million, the foundations aim to support the health and restoration of the basin and the communities that live in it. At least 60% must go to tribes or Indigenous-led organizations, according to the release, with a focus on climate resilience and restorative justice projects.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map

Wetlands

Sacramento National Wildlife RefugeWetlands are among the world’s most important and hardest-working ecosystems, rivaling rainforests and coral reefs in productivity. 

They produce high levels of oxygen, filter water pollutants, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion and recharge groundwater.

Bay-Delta Tour participants viewing the Bay Model

Bay Model

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bay Model is a giant hydraulic replica of San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is housed in a converted World II-era warehouse in Sausalito near San Francisco.

Hundreds of gallons of water are pumped through the three-dimensional, 1.5-acre model to simulate a tidal ebb and flow lasting 14 minutes.

Aquapedia background Colorado River Basin Map

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.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

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.