Last Chance to Apply for California Water Leaders; Join Virtual Q&A for Colorado River Water Leaders

In this issue:

  • Last chance to apply for the 2024 cohort of our popular California Water Leaders program.
  • Join a virtual Q&A session on Dec. 7 for our 2024 Colorado River Water Leaders program.

Apply by Dec. 5 for California Water Leaders Program

Water Leaders logoAre you an up-and-coming leader in the water world? Consider applying for our 2024 California Water Leaders cohort by 5 p.m. next Tuesday (Dec. 5).


There’s Still Time! Support the Water Education Foundation on Giving Tuesday
Your Support Makes a Critical Impact on Water Education in California and the West

Since 1977 the Water Education Foundation has worked to inspire better understanding and catalyze critical conversations about our most vital natural resource: water.

This is not a mission our impartial nonprofit can carry out alone.

Today on Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the important work we do to provide impartial education and foster informed decision-making on water issues in California and the West.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: Biden administration proposes big changes to lead pipe rules

Most U.S. cities would have to replace lead water pipes within 10 years under strict new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency as the Biden administration moves to reduce lead in drinking water and prevent public health crises like the ones in Flint, Mich., and Washington, D.C. Millions of people consume drinking water from lead pipes, and the agency said tighter standards would improve IQ scores in children and reduce high blood pressure and heart disease in adults. It would be the biggest overhaul of lead rules in more than three decades and would cost billions of dollars. Pulling it off would require overcoming enormous practical and financial obstacles.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Newsweek

How California’s reservoirs will change after atmospheric river hits

California will escape much of the rainfall from an incoming atmospheric river, but the storm will still benefit some of the state’s reservoirs. An atmospheric river is forecast to saturate much of the Pacific Northwest over the next week. … The incoming storm could bring up to 2 inches of rain to two of the state’s northern lakes. … Lake Shasta is at 126 percent its historical average, but still at only 68 percent capacity. Trinity Lake is at only 49 percent capacity, a far cry from its historical average of 86 percent. Rainfall is anticipated to begin on Friday and continue through Wednesday.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Newsweek

Drought unfolding as ‘unprecedented’ planetary-scale emergency

Drought is starting to unfold as an unprecedented planetary-scale emergency, the United Nations has warned. A new Global Drought Snapshot report released by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at COP28 has warned that drought is becoming a silent killer as climate change worsens. It warns that it is claiming more lives, causing economic loss, and seriously affecting some areas of society, than ever before. … California, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico are just a handful of states that have experienced extreme drought conditions in recent years. It’s not just the U.S. that is affected—the report warns that countries all over the globe are suffering, making it an unprecedented threat as climate change worsens.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Tulare County land trust embarks on projects to protect groundwater and farming

A unique land trust in southwestern Tulare County that aims to preserve farming by strategically fallowing land for habitat is moving forward on several projects. The Tule Basin Land & Water Conservation Trust was formed in 2020 by area farmers and water managers intent on finding solutions to the region’s groundwater woes that didn’t include a massive and random shuttering of productive farmland. How is it possible to save farming through fallowing? The trust’s ongoing Capinero Creek and Lower Deer creek projects are two examples. Capinero Creek is a 467-acre former dairy next to the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge. The project, funded by a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation, will restore alkali scrub habitat on the site for threatened and endangered species. 

Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map


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.

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.

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.