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Announcement

Registration Now Open for Popular Northern California Tour; Join our Team as Operations Manager
Journey into the Sierra Nevada on our Headwaters Tour; Save the Date for our Annual Water Summit

Registration Now Open for Northern California Tour: October 16-18

Registration is now open for our popular Northern California Tour October 16-18, and seats always fill quickly! This 3-day, 2-night excursion across the Sacramento Valley travels north from Sacramento to Oroville, Redding and Shasta Lake.

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!

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: California judge grants injunction in water conveyance project

A Sacramento County judge on Thursday ruled in favor of several water districts and local governments over California’s planned delta tunnel project that would divert water from Northern California to the south of the state, saying that exploratory work can’t continue until the state completes a necessary certification process. The decision by Superior Court Judge Stephen Acquisto is a win for the groups that had argued the state Department of Water Resources hadn’t completed all documentation required by the California Environmental Quality Act and complied with the Delta Plan. The department had sought to perform geotechnical work, like initial drilling and the installation of monitoring equipment. … An attorney for the groups argued at a May hearing that drilling holes, along with other moves, did physically change the environment. That meant it fell under the act’s purview, and the department didn’t yet have the authority. On Thursday, Acquisto agreed.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news E&E News by POLITICO

Supreme Court rejects Rio Grande settlement

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a state-authored settlement in the long-running legal battle over the waters of the Rio Grande, siding with the Biden administration’s objections to the deal. The court ruled 5-4 to rebuff the proposed settlement among the three Western states named in Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado over how to account for water use in the Rio Grande Basin. Legal observers have suggested the court’s decision could potentially grant the federal government new power to control the flow of water in drought-stricken regions — including the Colorado River Basin — by requiring states to seek the agreement of federal water managers when settling intra-basin disputes.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news SJV Water

State delays Kaweah subbasin’s probationary hearing date by two months

The state postponed the Kaweah groundwater region’s Nov. 5 probationary hearing until Jan. 7, 2025, according to an announcement at a “state of the subbasin” event held June 19 to answer questions about what probation would mean. … Managers of the three groundwater agencies that cover the subbasin, which covers the northern part of Tulare County’s flatlands, have written a new plan they hope addresses the Water Board’s concerns about the need to protect domestic wells, stop chronic groundwater decline and work in a coordinated manner. Incorporated in that new plan is a $5.8 million-a-year contract with Visalia nonprofit Self-Help Enterprises to monitor and respond to residential well problems. It was the first domestic well agreement of its kind in the San Joaquin Valley.

Related stories:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Newsom backs tribal land return amid dam removal project

More than a century has passed since members of the Shasta Indian Nation saw the last piece of their ancestral home — a landscape along the Klamath River where villages once stood — flooded by a massive hydroelectric project. Now more than 2,800 acres of land that encompassed the settlement, known as Kikacéki, will be returned to the tribe. The reclamation is part of the largest river restoration effort in U.S. history, the removal of four dams and reservoirs that had cut off the tribe from the spiritual center of their world. … With the decommissioning of the dams and draining of the reservoirs, miles of river valley are visible once more, and the return of free-flowing water has fueled hopes of reviving the salmon runs that had sustained the valley’s tribes since time immemorial.

Related articles:

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.