People in California and the
Southwest are getting stingier with water, a story that’s told by
In the latest Western Water news, writer Gary Pitzer
takes a look at how a
long-time rule of thumb describing water use—that one
acre-foot of water could supply two urban households for a year
—is getting a rewrite as household habits and improved technology
help people make the most of the water they have.
Applications for one of our most
Water Leaders, are now available for the 2019 class.
Alums of our one-year program say they gained invaluable
contacts, exposure to different viewpoints, core knowledge and a
big-picture view of California water.
Alums include Newsha Ajami,
director of Urban Water Policy at Stanford University’s Water in
the West; Jessica Pearson,
executive officer of the Delta Stewardship Council; Martha Guzman
Aceves, a member of the California Public Utilities
Commission; Chris Scheuring,
managing counsel for natural resources at the California Farm
Bureau Federation; and
Dave Eggerton, ACWA’s new executive director designate.
Explore more than 100 miles of
Central California’s longest river, subject of one of the
nation’s largest and costliest river restorations. Our San Joaquin River
Restoration Tour on Nov. 7-8 will feature speakers from key
governmental agencies and stakeholder groups who will explain the
restoration program’s goals and progress.
The Colorado River is likely headed
to unprecedented shortage in 2020 that could force water supply
cuts to some states, but work is “furiously” underway to reduce
the risk and avert a crisis, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner
told an audience at the Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in
Only a few tickets are left for our
California Tour, Oct. 10-12, when we will venture deep
inside Shasta Dam and tour wildlife refuges and rice
fields as we learn about water use and salmon restoration
efforts in the farm-heavy region.
In addition to Shasta Dam, we will see newly accessible views of
the Oroville Dam spillway and get an on-site update of
repairs to the cornerstone of the State Water Project,
including live camera feeds from the ongoing construction site.
Our Oct. 10-12 Northern California
Tour will explore the myriad agricultural uses of water
throughout the Sacramento Valley, including the latest ways in
which farms are adapting to changes in California’s groundwater
and surface water resources.
The valley, the northern portion of California’s Central Valley,
is known for some 2 million acres of farmland irrigated by the
Sacramento River and its tributaries, along with groundwater.
Primary crops grown in the region include rice, peaches, plums,
tomatoes, walnuts and other nuts.
Attending our annual
Water Summit on Sept. 20 is more than just hearing
in-depth discussions on the hottest water topics.
Mingle and network with attendees at the hosted reception after
the conference beside the Sacramento River, and bid throughout
the day on some fun outings and baskets of California products
during an auction that benefits our yearlong Water Leaders program.
Auction items also feature lunch with water policy experts,
Water means life for all the Grand
Canyon’s inhabitants, including the insects that are a foundation
of the ecosystem’s food web. But hydropower operations upstream
on the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam disrupt the natural pace
of insect reproduction as the river rises and falls, sometimes
dramatically. Eggs deposited at the river’s edge are often left
high and dry. Their loss affects available food for endangered
fish such as the humpback chub.
A diverse roster of top policymakers
and water experts are on the agenda for the Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit. The day-long
conference, Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the
Delta, will feature critical conversations about
water in California and the West.
Climate scientist Daniel Swain will be the opening keynote
speaker addressing drought, flood and wildfires
amid increasing climate whiplash and what it means for water
management. Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman will give the
keynote lunch address. See
the full roster of speakers
More than 260 California water
suppliers — many of them small systems in disadvantaged
communities — don’t meet safe drinking water standards. One
solution to getting those communities clean water is as simple —
and as complicated — as connecting them to a larger supplier
At the Foundation’s 35th
annual Water Summit Sept. 20 in Sacramento, Camille Pannu,
director of the Water Justice Clinic at UC Davis’ Aoki Center for
Critical Race and Nation Studies, will discuss the complexities
of water system mergers and a program underway in the Central
Valley that has facilitated more than a dozen such mergers.
two dozen refuge structures made of large walnut tree trunks
bolted to boulders were dropped deep into the Sacramento River
last year to shelter juvenile salmon from predators.
Participants on our Northern California
Tour Oct. 10-12 will visit the location of these
rearing structures in Redding and learn why they’re important
from Roger Cornwell, general manager of River Garden Farms, which
spearheaded the project. Other restoration-focused stops on the
tour include the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and the Red
Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project.
Land subsidence caused by
groundwater pumping has been a problem for decades in the San
Joaquin Valley, but an increased reliance on aquifers during the
last decade has resulted in subsidence rates of more than one
foot per year in some parts of the region.
While subsidence was minimal in 2017 due to one of the wettest
years on record, any return to dry conditions would likely set
the stage for subsidence to resume as the region relies more
heavily on groundwater than surface water. Land subsidence not
only has the potential to shrink aquifers, but it puts state and
federal aqueducts and flood control structures at risk of damage.
Amy Haas recently became the first
non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director
of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history,
putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges
facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Yet those challenges will be
quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who has a long history of
working within interstate Colorado River governance. As the
commission’s executive director, Haas is likely to play a major
role in helping to address changing hydrologic conditions that
result in a drier climate and less water for the Colorado,
drought planning and ongoing water conservation efforts, as well
as tribal water rights among Native Americans and their impact
throughout the Colorado River Basin. These issues have
implications throughout the Colorado River drainage.
Scientist Daniel Swain will address
climate whiplash and the challenging road ahead for Western water
managers during a morning keynote address Sept. 20 at the
Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit in Sacramento.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin
rivers are the two major Central Valley waterways that feed the
Delta, the hub of California’s water supply
network. Our last water tours of
2018 will look in-depth 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 rivers.
California’s mountain forests are
the source of 60% of the state’s developed water, but they’re
under siege from climate change, drought, bark beetles and
catastrophic wildfire, including the latest fire sweeping toward
Yosemite National Park.
At the Foundation’s 35th
annual Water Summit Sept. 20 in Sacramento, a panel of
experts will address the breadth of challenges facing the state’s
headwaters, some key scientific research on the forests and