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Last Chance To Register For Next Week’s Water 101 Workshop
Leading policy and legal experts explain everything you need to know to understand California water

There’s just one week left to register for our Water 101 Workshop, which offers a primer on the things you need to know to understand California water.

Announcement

Updated Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project Hot Off the Press
Latest edition of the Guide offers a "mini-textbook" to history, key issues and challenges facing California's largest surface water system

Our Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project has just been updated to reflect the latest developments affecting California’s largest surface water delivery system.

The 24-page guide explores the history of the Central Valley Project, from its roots as a state water project that stalled amid the Great Depression to its development as a federal project that stretches from Shasta Dam in far Northern California to Bakersfield in the southern San Joaquin Valley. 

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news KNAU Arizona Public Radio

Shortages looming for Colorado River basin

Newly released numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation project a high chance of shortages on the Colorado River within the next two years. The numbers show Lake Mead is likely to drop below 1075 feet in elevation later this year. That triggers a “Tier 1” shortage under the rules of the Drought Contingency Plan. Arizona takes the brunt of the shortage, losing more than five hundred thousand acre-feet of water, or about a third of the Central Arizona Project’s supply. The canal brings water to Tucson and Phoenix, but the cuts will largely affect farmers.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Bakersfield children’s book takes a trip down the Kern River

The successful Bakersfield children’s book series “Indy, Oh Indy” has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its sixth upcoming book, titled “The Mighty Kern River.” The book was inspired by a larger effort from the grassroots group Bring Back the Kern to raise awareness about Bakersfield’s mostly dry river and efforts to revive a more regular flow of water through town.

Aquafornia news ABC7 San Francisco

Bay mud could help wetlands survive sea level rise, new study shows

It’s a growing threat that sneaks in with the tide. Sea levels here in the Bay Area are expected to rise by a foot or more over the next several decades, potentially overwhelming levees and seawalls around the Bay. But now an environmental group says one of the most powerful weapons we have to fight back, is being literally, thrown away. … [T]ons of sediment that are dredged out of the Bay every year and barged out sea, or dumped in deep water … could be the perfect solution to bolster the wetlands that surround the Bay.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

OID and SSJID cancel large water sale to thirsty West Side

The worsening drought has canceled a large water sale to West Side farmers by the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts. They announced Wednesday that their own customers will need the water, which had been declared surplus in early March. A revised forecast of Stanislaus River runoff scuttled the sale, which could have brought up to $25 million to the sellers.

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.
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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 most recent drought, from 2012–2016, much of the state experienced severe drought conditions: significantly less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher temperatures.

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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.