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Announcement

Journey along the Sacramento River and Into Other Key California Watersheds During Virtual Events this Fall
Enjoy our NorCal Tour Oct. 14 and Travel Into the Sierras for our Headwaters Tour Nov. 9; Don't Forget our Virtual Water Summit event Oct. 28

The Foundation’s virtual journeys will whisk you away to explore California’s key rivers and water regions this fall from the Sacramento River to the headwaters in the Sierras.

Plus, our annual Water Summit will feature water managers and other water experts who are dealing with the “new normal” as unprecedented drought and wildfires challenge the status quo.

Announcement

2020 Annual Report Recaps Water Education Efforts in California And the West Amid a Global Pandemic
Water Education Foundation report highlights a year of challenges, accomplishment and gratitude

The Water Education Foundation’s just-released 2020 Annual Report recaps how, even in the midst of a global pandemic, we continued educating about the most crucial natural resource in California and the West – water. 

The annual report takes readers along to see the array of educational events, trainings and articles we produced last year, including engaging virtual water tours that educated participants on pressing water issues and allowed them to interact with each other and a wide range of experts offering different viewpoints. 

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

Monday Top of the Scroll: NorCal water agency leads ‘unprecedented’ effort to douse wildfire risk

To the north of the Yuba Watershed, the Dixie Fire has burned nearly a million acres. To the south, the Caldor Fire has destroyed hundreds of homes as it continues to burn near South Lake Tahoe. Meanwhile, the Yuba Water Agency is leading an effort to avoid similar catastrophic fire by focusing on a plan to treat 275,000 acres in the Yuba Watershed.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

California water: See drought’s impact on huge California reservoir

The California drought has been brutal over the past few years, but to see just how devastating it has been, you need to see before-and-after pictures side by side. Bay Area News Group photojournalist Nhat V. Meyer went out to the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County this week and took pictures in approximately the same places that he did in January 2019. The reservoir is one of the largest in California. The results are startling. It shows how California’s reservoir water levels are way below what they should be at this time of year.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The New York Times

United Nations warns of ‘catastrophic pathway’ with current climate pledges

The global average temperature will rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by century’s end even if all countries meet their promised emissions cuts, a rise that is likely to worsen extreme wildfires, droughts and floods, the United Nations said in a report on Friday. That level of warming, measured against preindustrial levels, is likely to increase the frequency of deadly heat waves and threaten coastal cities with rising sea levels, the country-by-country analysis concluded.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Risk Rating 2.0 – A first look at FEMA’s new flood insurance system

Risk Rating 2.0 has been called the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA)’s most significant reform in 50 years.  Roughly 77% of customers of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) nationwide will see increases in their premiums, while the other ~23% will see reductions or no change.  FEMA will formally introduce Risk Rating 2.0 on October 1, 2021, and most premium increases will kick in on April 1, 2022.

Related articles:

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
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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
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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

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.