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Aerial view of Lake Shasta, showing the effects of drought
Announcement

Registration Now Open for Northern California & San Joaquin River Restoration Tours
Join our fall tours focused on California's two largest rivers to explore drought impacts, salmon restoration efforts and more

Register today for the return of our in-person fall tours offering participants a firsthand look at issues such as drought in California’s two largest watersheds that have implications for the entire state.

Our Northern California Tour explores the Sacramento River and its tributaries to learn about key reservoirs and infrastructure that conveys vital water resources across California. Our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour returns this year to dive into the story of bringing back the river’s chinook salmon population while balancing water supply needs.

Announcement

Mark Your Calendars for the Foundation’s Fall Programs Including Water Leaders Reunion
Save the Dates for our Annual Water Summit & Tours of the State's Two Largest Rivers

​Mark your calendars now for our full schedule of fall programs, including a reunion of our Water Leaders graduates to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the program as well as the in-person return of our 38th annual Water Summit.

Our fall programming also includes tours exploring California’s two largest rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, to learn more about infrastructure, the impacts on farms and habitat from a third year of drought and salmon restoration efforts.

Check out the details below to learn more about these fall programs.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California well water bill survives state Senate committee

A bill which would change the way groundwater wells are approved in California took a step forward Wednesday as it survived a fight in a California state Senate committee. The legislation was introduced by Assemblymember Steve Bennett, Democrat from Ventura, and would change the way new and expanded water wells are approved in California; focusing on areas that are experiencing rapid decline in groundwater reserves.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news NPR

Supreme Court restricts EPA’s authority to mandate carbon emissions

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a major blow to the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon emissions that cause climate change. The decision by the conservative court majority sets the stage for further limitations on the regulatory power of other agencies as well. By a vote of 6 to 3, the court said that any time an agency does something big and new – in this case addressing climate change – the regulation is presumptively invalid, unless Congress has specifically authorized regulating in this sphere. At issue in the case were rules adopted by the Trump and Obama administrations and aimed at addressing the country’s single-largest carbon emissions problem – from coal-fired power plants.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Extreme heat, drought will permanently scar California and its social fabric

Unprecedented dryness across the western United States is meeting with increasingly warm temperatures to create climate conditions so extreme that the landscape of California could permanently and profoundly change, a growing number of scientists say. The Golden State’s great drying has already begun to reduce snowpack, worsen wildfires and dry out soils, and researchers say that trend will likely continue, along with the widespread loss of trees and other significant shifts. Some say what’s in store for the state could be akin to the conditions that drove people thousands of years ago to abandon thriving cities in the Southwest and other arid parts of the world as severe drought contributed to crop failures and the crumbling of social norms.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Registration now open for fall tours exploring California’s two largest rivers

Register today for the return of our in-person fall tours offering participants a firsthand look at issues such as drought in California’s two largest watersheds that have implications for the entire state. Our Northern California Tour explores the Sacramento River and its tributaries to learn about key reservoirs and infrastructure that conveys vital water resources across California. Our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour returns this year to dive into the story of bringing back the river’s chinook salmon population while balancing water supply needs.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map

Wetlands

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. 

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.