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Announcement

Foundation Seeks Insightful Writer to Join Our Journalism Team and Cover West’s Most Important Natural Resource – Water
Our latest Western Water article examines how drought & climate change in the Colorado River Basin threaten to upend collaborative efforts to equitably share a shrinking river

We’re looking for a special kind of writer to join our team who is eager to produce the kinds of insightful and challenging stories we pursue, such as our latest Western Water article on how drought and climate change are threatening to upend collaboration in the Colorado River Basin.

Are you a journalist enthralled by the history, policy and science behind Western water issues? Then you might be just the right person to join our team. We’re looking for a full-time writer who is deeply knowledgeable about the West’s most precious natural resource in California and the Colorado River Basin, enjoys a fast-paced environment and possesses strong multimedia skills. Learn more about the job here.

Announcement

Registration Now Open for In-Person Lower Colorado River Tour
Take the Pulse of the ‘Lifeline of the Southwest’ March 16-18

Grab your ticket now for the return of our in-person Lower Colorado River Tour March 16-18!

In the centennial year of the 1922 Colorado River Compact that established a framework for management of the river, the tour will take participants from Hoover Dam downstream to the Mexican border and through the Imperial and Coachella valleys to learn firsthand about the challenges and opportunities now facing the “Lifeline of the Southwest” a hundred years later.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: California drought – State officials plan to deliver more water than the 0% first expected

After a wet December, California water officials say state reservoirs likely will be able to provide cities and farms more than the scant emergency supplies initially projected for 2022. The Department of Water Resources announced Thursday that the State Water Project now has enough water in storage to meet 15% of the water requests from across California, still a dismally small figure but better than the 0% allocation announced last month.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The New York Times

What a dry January means for California’s drought

In the final three months of 2021, hope arrived in California in the form of rain. Record-breaking downpours nourished the parched land. The state’s snowpack, a major source of water, reached a staggering 160 percent of its expected level. If the rains continued through the rest of the winter, experts advised, California’s severe drought could soon start to look very different. But alas. January, typically one of the state’s wettest months, has proved unusually dry.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poseidon Water could receive millions in state bonds for Huntington Beach plant

The controversial Poseidon Water seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach could be in line to receive millions in state funds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee. The committee met Wednesday, a three-hour meeting during which it partially decided how to divide up more than $4.3 billion in tax exempt Private Activity Bonds that are available for distribution in 2022. Most of the money — about $3.7 billion — will go to qualified residential rental programs…. However, the committee also voted to allocate about $510 million to other exempt facilities, which include Poseidon.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: A week left to apply for our inaugural Colorado River Water Leaders class

There is just about a week left to apply for our inaugural Colorado River Water Leaders program in 2022, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact. The biennial program is modeled after our highly successful Water Leaders program in California, now 25 years strong. Our Colorado River program will select rising stars from the seven U.S. states and tribal nations that rely on the river – California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico – to participate in the seven-month class designed for working professionals. 

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
Aquapedia background

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
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.

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.