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Announcement

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.

Announcement

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 SF Gate

Monday Top of the Scroll: ‘It doesn’t look good’: No rain in sight for San Francisco Bay Area

There’s no rain in sight for the San Francisco Bay Area in the next 10 days, a concerning dry weather spell for a region plagued by drought. While there are hints of a shift to wetter and cooler conditions toward mid-December, some experts say the forecast for rain doesn’t look convincing.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Investors are buying up Arizona farmland for the valuable water rights

In fields on the Arizona-California border, farmers draw water from the nearby Colorado River to grow alfalfa, irrigating crops as they have for decades. That could change soon. An investment company has purchased nearly 500 acres of farmland and wants to strip it of its water and send it 200 miles across the desert to a Phoenix suburb, where developers plan to build thousands of new houses. Similar deals could follow as the demand for water in the growing Southwest outpaces the dwindling supply.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Biden, Newsom admin. press judge to adopt Calif. water restrictions

A coordinated effort between the Biden and Newsom administrations to drop two-year-old environmental rules governing water deliveries to the Central Valley and Southern California reached a new benchmark two days before Thanksgiving. In a flurry of pre-holiday filings, Federal officials, in consultation with Newsom administration officials, requested that a Fresno-based Federal judge adopt a hastily-arranged plan to govern water pumping in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California wildfire fallout: Timber industry confronted by too many dead trees, warns of damaged forests

This year’s mega-fires may be contained, the fire fronts extinguished and late flareups tamed by early season rain. But a secondary disaster has only just begun among the acres and acres of dead trees left behind. While the giant firestorms of 2017 and 2018 destroyed more homes and killed more people, the wildfires in 2020 and 2021 killed more trees. And those losses pose an existential threat to 32 million acres of territory blanketed by forests and the people who live and work there.

Related articles: 

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
Aquapedia background

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
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.

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.