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Announcement

Plan Now to Attend our Popular Fall Programs; Sign Up for our Weekday Water Newsfeed
Seats Going Fast for Northern California Tour; Registration for Annual Water Summit Opens Soon

It may be the dog days of summer but it’s a busy time at the Water Education Foundation as we prep for our fall events! 

  • Space is becoming limited for one of our most popular water excursions, the three-day Northern California Tour in mid-October.
  • Registration opens in just a few weeks for our premier annual event, the Water Summit, on Oct. 30 in Sacramento. Make sure you’re among the first to know this year’s theme by signing up for Foundation announcements.
  • While you’re signing up for announcements, you can also sign up for our weekday water newsfeed known as Aquafornia to help you stay in the know.
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.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news The Mercury News

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Desalination plant proposed for San Francisco Bay

Saying it needs to evaluate all options for new sources of drinking water, Silicon Valley’s largest water district is studying a plan to build the first seawater desalination plant along the shores of San Francisco Bay. The Santa Clara Valley Water District, a government agency based in San Jose, has approved spending $1.7 million for Black & Veatch, a Walnut Creek firm, to conduct an engineering feasibility study over the next 12 months for a project near the bay’s shoreline in Palo Alto, Mountain View or San Jose. Under the proposal, which is still in the early stages, the plant would take between 20 million to 80 million gallons of water a day from the bay, run it through filters to strip the salt out and serve from 10 million to 40 million gallons a day of freshwater to South Bay homes and businesses. That would provide about 11,000 to 44,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough for between 100,000 and 500,000 households.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Silicon Valley-backed voter plan for a new California city won’t be on the November ballot after all

A Silicon Valley-backed initiative to build a green city for up to 400,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area on land now zoned for agriculture won’t be on the Nov. 5 ballot after all, officials said Monday. The California Forever campaign qualified for the ballot in June, but a Solano County report released last week raised questions about the project and concluded it “may not be financially feasible.” With Solano County supervisors set to consider the report on Tuesday, organizers suddenly withdrew the measure and said they would try again in two years. The report found the new city — described on the California Forever website as an “opportunity for a new community, good paying local jobs, solar farms, and open space” — was likely to cost the county billions of dollars and create substantial financial deficits, while slashing agricultural production and potentially threatening local water supplies, the Bay Area News Group reported. … The Solano Land Trust, which protects open lands, said in June that such large-scale development “will have a detrimental impact on Solano County’s water resources, air quality, traffic, farmland, and natural environment.”

Related article:

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

West broiling, burning despite drought relief

While California and Nevada remain virtually drought-free, climate experts say extreme heat and wildfire risk may continue plaguing the West for months. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said during a webinar Monday that ongoing heat events across the West present a major risk to vulnerable communities, despite a good water supply outlook for the region. Joseph Casola, the regional climate services director at the National Centers for Environmental Information, called the drought outlook “relatively rosy for California and Nevada.” Data shows few pockets of drought in both states, aside from several areas along the California-Oregon border. Many reservoirs across California sit above their average holding capacity thanks to the water year’s extended periods of late-spring rain and snow storms.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Environmentalists ‘ecstatic’ over Kamala Harris candidacy

… Harris, a Californian who has previously described climate change as an “existential threat” that must be treated with a sense of urgency, has prioritized investments in clean energy jobs, air and water protections, fossil fuel accountability, climate action and environmental justices… … Harris’ environmental platform stands in stark contrast to that of Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose previous climate record includes rolling back more than 100 climate regulations and appointing climate change deniers to senior posts in the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. Project 2025, touted as a road map for a Republican administration, outlines plans to expand oil and gas drilling, dismantle the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its offices — including the National Weather Service — and other steps that would address the Biden administration’s “radical climate policy” and “unprovoked war on fossil fuels,” according to the document.

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.