Apply for California’s Premier Water Leadership Program by Dec. 7
Deepen water knowledge, build leadership skills during program's 25th anniversary; ACWA fellowship available

Apply by Dec. 7 for our 2022 Water Leaders class and be part of the cohort that will mark the 25th anniversary of California’s pre-eminent water leadership program.

The Water Leaders class, which started in 1997, is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of California water issues and building leadership skills by working with a mentor, studying a water-related topic in-depth and crafting policy recommendations on that topic with your cohort.

The deadline to apply for the 2022 class is Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Find the online application form and other required items for your application package here.


Last Chance to Register for Today’s Virtual Headwaters Tour
Final Online Event of the Year Features Live Q&A with Sierra Nevada Headwaters Experts

Our water tours are lauded because they are both fun and educational, so don’t miss your chance to experience our last online tour event of the year. Register now for our Tuesday, Nov. 9, Headwaters Tour and we’ll take you on an engaging virtual journey across the upper watershed of a major Sierra-fed river to learn the important role forests play in California’s water supply.

The virtual Headwaters Tour travels through portions of the American River watershed, beginning at the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains and heading down into the foothills and eventually ending at Folsom Lake near Sacramento.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news

Happy Thanksgiving from Aquafornia!

Dear Aquafornia readers,

Aquafornia is off for the Thanksgiving weekend.

We will return with a full slate of water news on Monday, Nov. 29.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter where we post breaking news and on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we post Foundation-related news. 

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: SFPUC calls for 10% voluntary reduction in water use as it declares water emergency

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is urging nearly 3 million water customers throughout the Bay Area to cut water usage by 10%, as it declares a water shortage emergency due to the ongoing drought. … By declaring the emergency, the agency would be able to access water reserves and resources only available during emergencies, officials said. Under the measure, customers are urged to reduce water usage by 10% compared to 2019-2020 levels…. Along with providing water to San Francisco, the agency also has customers in portions of Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California farmers rush to drill wells for groundwater in drought

On the parched west side of the San Joaquin Valley, the drought has created a windfall for companies like Big River Drilling. A water-well contractor based in the Fresno County community of Riverdale, Big River can hardly keep up with demand for new wells as farmers and rural residents seek to extract more water from underground. … But talk about poor timing: California farmers are supposed to start throttling back their groundwater pumping to comply with a state law called the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news KUNC - Greeley, Colo.

These four metrics are used to track drought, and they paint a bleak picture

Drought has tightened its grip on the Western U.S., as dry conditions tick on into their second decade and strain a river that supplies 40 million people. Experts agree that things are bad and getting worse. But how exactly do you measure a drought, and how can you tell where it’s going? Brad Udall is an expert on the subject, studying water and climate at Colorado State University’s Colorado Water Center. Lately, his forecasts for the basin haven’t been particularly uplifting.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
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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—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.


Important People in California Water History

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