Our tours are famous for not only being packed with diverse
educational opportunities about California water, but showcasing
local culture. Our Central Valley Tour on March
8-10 lets you unwind at a few San Joaquin Valley treasures and
hear stories that go back generations.
The San Joaquin Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket, is one
of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States.
During our three-day Central Valley water tour,
you will meet farmers who will explain how they prepare the
fields, irrigate their crops and harvest the produce that helps
feed the world. We will also drive through hundreds of miles of
farmland and visit the sources of the water – rivers, dams and
Keynoting the Water Education Foundation’s Executive Briefing March 23 will be
Frances Spivy-Weber, who is retiring from the State Water
Resources Control Board after 10 years.
During that time, there have been a plethora of changes for the
State Water Board, including its assumption of drinking water
safety regulations and a stepped-up enforcement regime aimed at
protecting the environment and other water rights holders.
Most conferences and all tours of key water sites in California
and the Southwest that are held by the Water Education Foundation
are eligible for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
credits required by the State Bar of California.
We have been an approved MCLE provider for decades and are a
valued source of up-to-date information for attorneys who attend
our conferences and water tours.
Our upcoming 2017 events that offer MCLE credits are:
Our water tours give a behind-the-scenes look at major water
issues in California. On our Central Valley Tour, March
8-10, you will visit wildlife habitat areas – some of which are
closed to the public – and learn directly from the experts who
manage them, in addition to seeing farms, large dams and other
These are not the best of times for the Sacramento-San Joaquin
The center of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed WaterFix, the Delta
suffers from an array of maladies that offer a gloomy prospect
for its ecological future and continued role as hub of the
state’s water supply.
Tickets are now on sale for the Water Education
Foundation’s April 5-7 tour of the Lower Colorado River.
Don’t miss this opportunity to visit key sites along the
“Lifeblood of the Southwest,” including a private tour of Hoover
Dam, Central Arizona Project’s Mark Wilmer pumping plant and the
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. The tour also visits the Salton
Sea and farming regions in the Imperial and Coachella valleys.
Sixteen years of drought on the Colorado River, a key water
supply for California, have increased the chance that Lake Mead
will fall low enough to trigger a shortage declaration in the
not-too-distant future. It seems a matter of when and not if. The
reservoir now sits at 40 percent capacity and federal officials
say there is a 48 percent chance of a shortage declaration in
Last year, representatives from the federal government,
California and the other Lower Basin states, and Mexico came
close to an interlinked, multi-party agreement on how to slow the
reservoir’s decline to better prepare for a reduction in water
supplies. They failed to finalize a drought contingency plan
before the end of the Obama administration, leaving stakeholders
wondering what will happen now.
Californians continue to receive optimistic news that parts of
the state will see significant drought relief in 2017. One
positive development is a strong likelihood that San Luis
Reservoir near Los Banos will be full by April 1 – the first time
As of Tuesday, the 2 million acre-feet reservoir was at 78
percent of capacity. This is a stark contrast to last August when
the reservoir was at its lowest level in 25 years.
Data, data everywhere but what to do with it all? Water wonks
have long known there are reams of information about water
available from a multitude of sources. Databases contain
information about water supply, water quality, water rights and
other issues. But the information is scattered and not easily
Now, a new state law aims to corral all the dates, places and
numbers into a useful platform that is expected to make
California’s water management system more effective.
California’s San Joaquin Valley produces 25 percent of the
nation’s food, including 40 percent of all fruits, nuts and
vegetables consumed throughout the country. Despite this winter’s
deluge, many farmers in the San Joaquin Valley will face another
season amid changing drought conditions. Challenges that still
face California’s agricultural heartland include reduced surface
water allocations, overdrafted groundwater basins and decreasing
Experts from around the state will discuss groundbreaking ways to
create additional water sources at the Water Education
Foundation’s 34th annual Executive
Briefing, “Wave of Change: Breaking the Status Quo,” on March
23 in Sacramento.
Topics addressed by speakers on the panel “Tapping New Sources:
Water for the 21st Century” will include stormwater capture,
water recycling and potable reuse, and water neutrality
The recent deluge has led to changes in drought conditions in
some areas of California and even public scrutiny of the
possibility that the drought is over. Many eyes are focused on
the San Joaquin Valley, one of the areas hardest hit by reduced
surface water supplies. On our Central Valley Tour, March
8-10, we will visit key water delivery and storage sites in the
San Joaquin Valley, including Friant Dam and Millerton Lake
on the San Joaquin River.
Among the hot topics on tap for the May 25 conference in
Ontario are efforts to map water use to make the watershed
resilient, a look at Proposition 1 funding and the region’s
ambitious integrated projects, and a focus on underserved and
Finding new sources of water for the future and implementing the
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act are two of the key topics
to be addressed at this year’s Executive
Briefing, the Water Education Foundation’s flagship
conference of the year.
The 34th annual event, “Wave of Change: Breaking the Status Quo,”
will feature key speakers and top experts in their fields.
The Briefing will be March 23 at a new location this year –
the Hilton Sacramento Arden West hotel, 2200 Harvard Street in
The San Joaquin Valley has been hit hard by the six-year drought
and related surface water cutbacks. Some land has been fallowed
and groundwater pumping has increased. What does this year hold?
Will these recent heavy storms provide enough surface water for
improved water deliveries?
Your best opportunity to see and understand this vital
agricultural region of California is to join us on our annual
Central Valley Tour,
Dependence on the Colorado River as a water supply source has
been shaken by 16 years of drought that have rewritten the rules
for managing water. In the Lower Basin, water users are grappling
with the potential of a shortage that would reduce annual