Fun, friendship, invaluable contacts, exposure to different
viewpoints, informative tours, core knowledge and a big-picture
view of California water. These are some of the things past Water
Leaders say they have gained from our yearlong program for early
or mid-career professionals.
Registration is now open for one of our most popular events -
101, which for the first time will include an optional
daylong tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to give
participants a close-up look at the hub of California’s water
Water 101, to to be held Feb. 22 at McGeorge School of Law in
Sacramento, details the history, geography, legal and
political facets of water in California as well as hot topics
currently facing the state.
The Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million
people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico,
Utah, Wyoming and stretches into Mexico.
Text on this beautiful, 24×36-inch map, which is suitable
for framing, explains the river’s apportionment, history and the
need to adapt its management for urban growth and expected
climate change impacts.
Our popular and widely celebrated water
tour program is offering six tours in 2018. Tickets are
now on sale.
In addition to our five annual tours below, we will be offering a
two-day Headwaters Tour in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We
offered this tour in 2017 to great success and have received
requests to conduct it again.
The only thing predictable about California’s climate is its
unpredictability and variability.
Large parts of the state feature a Mediterranean climate with wet
winters and long, dry summers. The presence or absence of just a
few large storms in California can make the difference between an
above-average water year and a drought. Climate change threatens
California through more extreme events – hotter, longer droughts
and severe storms that strain the existing flood management
Our one-year Water Leaders program
gets you out of the office and into the field – whether it’s
on one of our water tours to the
Delta or the lower Colorado River, or meeting with your assigned
Mentors play an important role in the program as they conduct a
shadow day with class members and help to shape ideas for the
class project on a key water
topic. The project is turned into a report with policy
recommendations that is presented to the Water Education
Foundation’s Board of Directors toward the end of the year.
Members of our popular Water
Leaders program increase their knowledge of the state’s most
precious natural resource while creating fond memories spent
on water tours and at events with their classmates and
working on the team project.
The yearly class began at the Water Education Foundation in 1997.
Now, 20 years later we are hosting a Water Leaders reunion as
part of our 40th Anniversary
celebration Oct. 26 in Sacramento.
A few tickets are still available for our Nov. 1-2 San Joaquin River
Restoration Tour, a once-a-year educational opportunity to
see the program’s progress first-hand. The tour begins and ends
in Fresno with an overnight stay in Los Banos.
The Water Education Foundation opened its doors in 1977
when California was in the second year of a major drought, and it
quickly became a vital source of nonpartisan, in-depth
information about water resources in California and the West.
Over the years, the Foundation has provided a vast repertoire of
news, educational materials and programs designed to increase
awareness about water, including tours of key watersheds,
workshops, a quarterly magazine, Western Water, and
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers).
When the Water Education Foundation first produced
its iconic California water map in
1979, a side of beef donated by a rancher was raffled off at a
major water conference to help fund its creation. Today, the maps
are displayed at highway rest stops and offices up and down
The hot water topic back in 1982 was the Peripheral Canal.
When the Foundation first wrote about the proposal for
Western Water magazine, some 10,000 extra copies were
sold at 35 cents each.
Explore more than 100 miles of Central California’s longest river
while learning about one of the nation’s largest and costliest
river restorations. Our San Joaquin River
Restoration Tour on Nov. 1-2 will feature speakers from key
governmental agencies and stakeholder groups who will explain the
restoration program’s goals and progress.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin are the two major rivers in the
Central Valley that feed the Delta, the hub of
California’s water supply network.
Our last two water tours of 2017 will take in-depth looks at how
these rivers are managed and used for agriculture, cities and the
environment. You’ll see infrastructure, learn about efforts to
restore salmon runs and talk to people with expertise on these
Each year, participants on the Northern California Water Tour
enjoy three days exploring the Sacramento Valley during the
temperate fall. Join us as we travel along the Sacramento and
Feather rivers through a scenic landscape and learn about
issues associated with storing and delivering the state’s water
In the Summer 2017 issue of Western Water, “Now Comes
the Hard Part: Building Sustainable Groundwater Management in
California,” Writer Gary Pitzer looks into the efforts of
agencies beginning the task of bringing their basins to a level
of sustainability in accordance with the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act (SGMA). California’s landmark 2014 law aims to
repair the effects of decades of unmanaged groundwater pumping,
which have left some parts of the state in “critical” overdraft.