In light of recent developments regarding COVID-19, we wanted to reach out and provide an update on our 2020 programming schedule.
The Water Education Foundation is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments, which have created uncertainty for us all. And just like every organization, we are unsure how this will play out, for how long and how it will affect our upcoming in-person programming.
What is clear is the seriousness of this rapidly spreading virus. Thus, we are taking the following steps:
Weave through the nation’s
breadbasket and gain a better understanding of water issues
and challenges in the San Joaquin Valley on the Foundation’s
Central Valley Tour
This tour visits farms and major infrastructure, such as
Friant Dam near Fresno and San Luis Reservoir, the nation’s
largest off-stream reservoir near Los Banos and a key water
facility serving both the State Water Project and the federal
Central Valley Project.
The islands of the western
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta release tons of carbon dioxide — a
greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere as the rich peat soil that
attracted generations of farmers dries out and decays.
An ambitious plan now in the works could halt the decay,
sequester the carbon and — just as important — help protect
California’s vital water conveyance system by offering farmers
and landowners an incentive to change how they use their land.
latest article in Western Water explores how the
plan would work, looks at the concerns of some in agriculture,
and talks with one farmer who’s willing to give it a try.
The 2020 Anne J. Schneider Lecture,
which encourages professional and personal commitment to water
law and policy and the conservation of our special landscapes,
will feature two distinguished speakers: Jennifer Harder, an
associate professor at the McGeorge School of Law, and Brian
Gray, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of
California’s Water Policy Center and professor emeritus at UC
Hastings College of the Law.
Our tours are one of the best ways to learn about water issues in
California and the West. You come face-to-face with
infrastructure that moves water to cities, farms and wildlife
refuges, hear directly from farmers, environmentalists and
other stakeholders and understand the critical role water plays
in sustaining life, growing food and maintaining wetlands
and other water bodies for the environment.
Join us for one of these upcoming tours. Act fast! Early-bird
prices are still available for the Central Valley and Bay-Delta
There’s just one week left
until our Water 101 workshop
and optional tour! Register today for this once-a-year
Attendees at the Feb. 20 workshop will hear from a variety of
experts about important and current issues in California water
management and policy, including the Delta, sustainable
groundwater management, Gov. Newsom’s draft Water Resilience
Portfolio, impacts to water resources from climate change and
For the first time, participants on
the Foundation’s Lower Colorado River
Tour will enjoy a scenic journey on the river through
portions of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, including Topock
Gorge and the Havasu Wilderness Area.
Seating is limited for the March 11-13 tour, so register here
to ensure your spot!
Our annual Lower Colorado River tour explores the critical role
the river’s water plays in the three Lower Basin states of
Nevada, Arizona and California, and how it helps to sustain their
cities, farms and wildlife areas.
Shortly after Gov. Gavin Newsom
called on state agencies to deliver a Water Resilience Portfolio
to meet California’s urgent challenges — from unsafe drinking
water and climate change risks to severely depleted groundwater
aquifers and declining native fish populations — he appointed
Nancy Vogel, a former journalist and veteran water communicator,
to pull it together.
interview with Western Water, Vogel explains how the
draft portfolio released Jan. 3 came together, its expected role
in helping to guide policy and investment decisions related to
climate and water resilience — and why the portfolio should
matter to average Californians.
Learn from top experts at our
annual Water 101 Workshop about the history, hydrology and law
behind California water as well as hot topics such as the Delta,
disadvantaged communities, the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act and climate change’s impacts to water resources.
This once-a-year workshop on Feb. 20 in Sacramento will
include speakers such as:
_ Mike Chrisman, who served as California natural resources
secretary for seven years under former Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger, was elected president of the Water Education
Foundation’s board of directors. He follows in the footsteps of
his father, Ira “Jack” Chrisman, who was the Foundation’s
founding president in 1977.
“The Foundation is near and dear to my heart,” said Chrisman, who
runs his family’s ranching and farming business in Tulare County.
“My father and I both viewed his dedication to the
Foundation as a true personal legacy and I’m proud to follow in
his footsteps as board president.”
Our annual Water 101 workshop, set for Feb. 20 at
McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, is just three weeks away.
This popular event offers attendees the chance to hear from
experts on the basics of California water law, policy, hydrology
In addition to the workshop, attendees can also opt to join the
second-day tour (Feb. 21) that will showcase innovative water
projects and partnerships in the Sacramento region.
to mid-career water professionals from across California
have been chosen for the 2019 William R. Gianelli Water
Leaders Class, the Water Education Foundation’s highly
competitive and respected career development program.
The class will spend the year examining how water management can
respond to climate change in California and offer policy
recommendations for adapting a water system built to collect
snowmelt to one that can respond to more rain and longer droughts
that result from a changing climate.
As our Lower Colorado River
Tour weaves its way downstream from Hoover Dam March 11-13,
participants will learn about the important role the river’s
water plays in the three Lower Basin states of Nevada, Arizona
and California, and how it helps to sustain their cities,
wildlife areas and farms.
Nearly 5.5 million acres of farmland in the river’s basin rely on
the ‘lifeline of the Southwest’ to grow a wide variety of
What is groundwater, and how is it
managed in California?
Until recently groundwater, the water stored within the Earth in
the spaces between sand, soils and fractured rock, was not
routinely regulated in California. This changed in 2014 when the
state Legislature passed the
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) as a
framework for local and regional agencies to develop and
implement sustainable groundwater management plans. The Jan. 31
deadline is fast-approaching for groundwater managers in
California’s critically overdrafted basins to submit long-term
plans to the state for review.
Go deep inside Hoover Dam, one of
the nation’s most iconic structures, during a special “hard hat”
tour as you learn about one of the nation’s largest and most
managed rivers during our Lower Colorado
River Tour March 11-13.
You’ll pass through elevators and doors that are closed to the
public as Bureau of Reclamation managers give you an inside look
at the dam’s operations. Highlights include walking inside the
2,080-megawatt hydropower plant, traversing interior service
passages and inspection tunnels, and seeing architectural designs
of a past era. Afterward, you will have an opportunity to explore
the expanded visitor center and walk the top of the dam for
an unforgettable view before getting the latest hydrology update
on Lake Mead’s levels and operations.
2020 will be a busy year for water
resource issues in California and the West, and the Water
Education Foundation’s team of veteran journalists will stay on
top of the stories through our Western Water online news and our
daily Aquafornia news aggregation.
We’re already planning a full slate of articles for Western
Water news for 2020, a year that is likely to bring
noteworthy developments for water resources in California and the
West — from groundwater sustainability plans, to climate change
preparations to addressing demand and supply imbalances on the
Colorado River. We’ll be looking at stories that explore these
and other issues this year. You can sign up here to be alerted when new articles are published.
Curious about water rights in
California? Want to know more about how water is managed in the
state, or learn about the State Water Project, Central Valley
Project or other water infrastructure?
Sign up for our Water 101
workshop on Feb. 20 to hear from experts on these
topics and more. Then join us on Feb. 21 for an optional
tour that will get you up close with innovative water
partnerships, projects and programs that serve as models
Happy New Year to all the friends, supporters, readers, and tour and workshop participants of the Water Education Foundation! We’re grateful to each and every person who interacted with us in 2019 and supported our mission.
As we turn the page to 2020, we’re looking ahead to a few changes.
We’re putting together an exciting lineup of Foundation
conferences for 2020! Mark your calendars now for both our Water
101 workshop, scheduled for Feb. 20 at McGeorge School of Law in
Sacramento, and our annual Water Summit, scheduled for Sept. 24
at the Westin Sacramento. Stay tuned for further announcements on
other events we are planning for 2020.
The 2019 Water Leaders class
organized by the Water Education Foundation completed its year
with a report outlining policy recommendations for better
managing the increasing risks of wildfire and impacts on water
supply and quality.
The class of 23 from
various stakeholder groups and backgrounds who hailed from cities
and towns across California had full editorial control to choose