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Announcement

Journey along the Sacramento River and Into Other Key California Watersheds During Virtual Events this Fall
Enjoy our NorCal Tour Oct. 14 and Travel Into the Sierras for our Headwaters Tour Nov. 9; Don't Forget our Virtual Water Summit event Oct. 28

The Foundation’s virtual journeys will whisk you away to explore California’s key rivers and water regions this fall from the Sacramento River to the headwaters in the Sierras.

Plus, our annual Water Summit will feature water managers and other water experts who are dealing with the “new normal” as unprecedented drought and wildfires challenge the status quo.

Announcement

2020 Annual Report Recaps Water Education Efforts in California And the West Amid a Global Pandemic
Water Education Foundation report highlights a year of challenges, accomplishment and gratitude

The Water Education Foundation’s just-released 2020 Annual Report recaps how, even in the midst of a global pandemic, we continued educating about the most crucial natural resource in California and the West – water. 

The annual report takes readers along to see the array of educational events, trainings and articles we produced last year, including engaging virtual water tours that educated participants on pressing water issues and allowed them to interact with each other and a wide range of experts offering different viewpoints. 

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Mercury News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Gov. Newsom signs $15 billion climate, wildfire package at Sequoia National Park

Speaking at Sequoia National Park, where firefighters have toiled for the past two weeks to keep wildfires from killing some of the largest trees in the world, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed a package of bills providing $15 billion for a wide range of climate, wildfire and water projects — from thinning forests to building electric car charging stations and encouraging the development of offshore wind farms.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news CNN

La Niña is about to take the Southwest drought from bad to worse

Though summer rainfall brought some relief to the Southwest, the unrelenting drought there is about to get worse with La Niña on the horizon, according to David DeWitt, director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. … La Niña is a natural phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, which causes shifts in weather across the globe. In the Southwest, La Niña typically causes the jet stream — upper-level winds that carry storms around the globe — to shift northward. That means less rainfall for a region that desperately needs it.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Healdsburg leading the way in North Bay water conservation

Everyone in California has been asked to conserve water, but no one is doing it better than one community in the North Bay. Healdsburg has cut its water use in half. Lake Mendocino provides the bulk of Healdsburg’s water, and early in the summer there was talk of that lake simply running dry. Just the thought of that scared this city into an aggressive conservation plan. … Letting the park lawns die off was only part of the answer. To cut overall water consumption in half, Healdsburg set out to change the way residents think about their own water use.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Here’s how California’s drought is impacting Bay Area reservoirs

California is running out of water. That’s the harsh assessment by experts who say 90% of the state is dealing with drought conditions with the threat of mandatory statewide water restrictions looming. The most glaring indications of the drought in the Bay Area are the local reservoirs. The reservoirs during the last drought were relatively full and offered a temporary buffer to a major water shortage. That is not the case this time around.

Related article: 

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
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Wetlands

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

Salton Sea
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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.

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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.