Our 2022 Annual Report is Hot off the Press!
As COVID eased, the Foundation revved up and expanded programs across the West

2022 Annual Report coverThe Water Education Foundation’s just-released 2022 Annual Report recaps how we returned to hosting in-person events and tours and expanded our programs across the West as the global pandemic began to wane early in the year.


Epic Sierra Snowpack Headlines Headwaters Tour in June
Guided Rafting Trip on American River Available the Day Before

Our Headwaters Tour June 21-22 will take you into the Sierra Nevada to explore the impacts of this year’s historically large snowpack, reported at well over 200% of average. Remaining seats are limited so don’t miss your chance to examine water issues happening upstream that have dramatic effects throughout the state.

What exactly is an ‘average’ snowpack and how is it measured? How are those measurements then translated into forecasts of California’s water supply for the year, and is climate change making our reliance on historical patterns as a predictor obsolete? You’ll get an opportunity to learn about these topics directly from experts including Sean de Guzman, manager of the California Department of Water Resources Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Unit.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Facing California’s future of flooding and droughts

In recent years, it is the dry side of California that has captured headlines: dwindling reservoirs where boat ramps lead only to sand, almond orchards ripped up for lack of irrigation water, catastrophic wildfires that rage through desiccated forests and into towns. In the longer view, though, the state’s water problems have come just as often from deluge as from drought. Other parts of the country can count on reasonably steady precipitation, but California has always been different, teetering between drenching winters and blazing summers, between wet years and dry ones — fighting endlessly to exert control over a flow of water that vacillates, sometimes wildly, between too much and too little.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

CA steelhead trout population drops due to drought, wildfires

It’s a fickle fish — one that evades even the most experienced anglers and darts for cover when curious passersby try to spot its freckled body against the backdrop of a gravel-lined stream. Despite capturing the attention of many local scientists and conservationists, California’s Central Coast steelhead trout remain listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, according to the latest review of the species released in May by the National Marine Fisheries Service, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The population segment on the south-central California coast reviewed by the federal agency, which has a range stretching from the Pajaro River in Monterey Bay to Arroyo Grande Creek, was first listed as threatened in 1997. It hasn’t appeared to improve since then.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Map shows epic amounts of water gushing through California rivers

This year’s historic snowpack has meant epic amounts of water flowing through California’s rivers, streams and creeks. … That’s more than the capacity of four standard 40-foot shipping containers rushing by each second. Around 40% of the roughly 500 stream gauges across the state are running above normal, provisional data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows. A few dozen are registering record highs for this time of year, especially along the central and southern Sierra. With peak melt season expected in the coming weeks, this means plentiful amounts of water running into reservoirs, but also dangerously fast flows and the risk for potential flooding.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Headwaters Tour explores role of forest management in watershed health

Much of California’s developed water supply originates in the Sierra Nevada, making the state’s water supply largely dependent on the health of forests. But those forests are suffering from widespread tree mortality and other ecosystem degradation resulting largely from the growing frequency of severe droughts and wildfires. On our Headwaters Tour June 22-22, we will visit Eldorado and Tahoe national forests to learn about new forest management practices, including efforts to both prevent wildfires and recover from them.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map


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.

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

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—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.