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.
California Tourexplores 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 Tourreturns this year to dive
into the story of bringing back the river’s chinook salmon
population while balancing water supply needs.
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
A controversial plan from Gov. Gavin Newsom would reshape how
business is done on the California power grid…. State
lawmakers could vote as early as Wednesday night on the
polarizing legislation, whose text was revealed late Sunday.
The bill would give the Department of Water Resources
unprecedented authority to build or buy energy from any
facility that can help keep the lights on during the next few
summers — including polluting diesel generators and four
gas-fired power plants along the Southern California coast that
were originally supposed to close in 2020 but were rescued by
The Colorado River’s precipitous decline pushed Arizona
lawmakers to deliver Gov. Doug Ducey’s $1 billion water
augmentation fund — and then some — late Friday, their final
night in session. Before the votes, the growing urgency for
addressing the state’s oncoming water shortage and the
long timeline for approving and building new water projects
nearly sank the legislation.
The price of water — essential for human life, nature,
communities and businesses — is often subsidized, reflecting a
commonly held belief that everyone should have abundant access
to clean water…. In the Western United States, cutbacks to
one of the Southwest’s most important watersheds,
the Colorado River, are imminent and
possibly economically crushing to farmers …
California agriculture lands are straining to access
groundwater that used to be plentiful. … Some
companies that want to stay one step ahead of the pressing
water crisis are adopting strategies that set higher internal
prices on water than what they actually pay to their local
utility or municipality.
For a moment, the first week of summer looked like the prelude
to a vicious fire season in the Bay Area, with blazes ripping
through the hillsides south of Livermore and the ridges
bordering Port Costa. But firefighters managed to quash these
fires quickly, aided by tame winds and a landscape still moist
enough to keep the flames from spreading fast. … From
June 19 through June 27, Cal Fire battled 14 major fires across
the state that torched 10 acres or more, nine of them in the
greater Bay Area region stretching from Sonoma County to the
San Joaquin Valley in the east and south to the Santa Cruz
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.
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.