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Announcement

Lower Colorado River Tour Nearly Sold Out
Reserve Your Seat Now For The March 8-10 Journey

Photo shows participants on our Lower Colorado River Tour as the group takes a boat ride on the Lower Colorado River to explore habitat in Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.Only a few seats remain for our popular Lower Colorado River Tour March 8-10 that takes participants from Hoover Dam and weaves south along the river through Nevada, Arizona and California to learn firsthand about the challenges and opportunities now facing the “Lifeline of the Southwest.”

Click here to learn more about the tour and to register before the seats are all gone!

Announcement

Four New Board Members Bring A Range of Experience To Water Education Foundation

Four new members bringing a wide range of water resource experiences and perspectives have joined the Water Education Foundation Board. They include representatives from Environmental Defense Fund, a Southern California water agency, an engineer and a water policy manager for a municipal utility association.  

They join a volunteer board of more than 30 directors representing a broad cross-section of water, education, business, environmental, agricultural and public interest communities that governs the Foundation, an impartial nonprofit based in Sacramento.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: States miss deadline for agreement on Colorado River water

The seven states that depend on the Colorado River have missed a Jan. 31 federal deadline for reaching a regionwide consensus on how to sharply reduce water use, raising the likelihood of more friction as the West grapples with how to take less supplies from the shrinking river. In a bid to sway the process after contentious negotiations reached an impasse, six of the seven states gave the federal government a last-minute proposal outlining possible water cuts to help prevent reservoirs from falling to dangerously low levels, presenting a unified front while leaving out California, which uses the single largest share of the river. The six states — Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — called their proposal a “consensus-based modeling alternative” that could serve as a framework for negotiating a solution.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Record Searchlight

Lake Shasta water level rises 60 feet during January

Higher-than-normal rainfall during the past month has dramatically changed Lake Shasta, with the water level of California’s largest reservoir rising 60 feet since the end of December. Gone are vast areas of shoreline that became parking lots and campgrounds as the lake dried up and the water level dropped during the past several years of low rainfall in the North State. By Monday, the lake was 56% full, an improvement over the 34% recorded Jan. 3. The California Department of Water Resources said the lake was 87% of normal as of Monday, compared to the 57% of normal at the beginning of January.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Feds may alter Colorado River forecast methods slammed as too rosy

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is considering altering its monthly Colorado River forecasting methods in the face of criticism from experts inside and outside the agency that predictions have been too optimistic. Changing forecast methods could have major ramifications in how the bureau manages the river, water experts say. Larger cutbacks in water deliveries to Arizona, Nevada and California could possibly be triggered, for example. The agency will consider starting to base its forecasts on the past 20 years of flows into Lake Powell, compared to the 30 years it uses now, a bureau official told the Arizona Daily Star.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Foundation Unveils Interactive Online Tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Water Education Foundation has unveiled an interactive online tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that offers viewers and readers a broad overview of the heart of California water – its history and development, its importance as an ecological resource and water hub and the array of challenges it faces. Titled “Exploring the Heart of California Water,” the online tour, built as a story map, guides readers and viewers through different facets of the Delta. It includes the Delta’s history and the people – including the Native American tribes – who have lived there, the fish and wildlife that depend on its waters and its role as a crossroads for federal, state and local water projects.

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. 

They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

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.

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.