Recently, flood waters have torn through residential
neighborhoods, roads and both spillways of our largest dam, which
has led to many Californians asking the obvious questions – Isn’t
the drought over and why hasn’t the state lifted the drought
Registration is now open for the Santa Ana
River Watershed Conference set for May 25 in Ontario. The
daylong event will be held at the Ontario Convention Center in
the city of Ontario.
Join us to discuss the importance of the Santa Ana River
Watershed and how, through powerful partnerships, we can find
resilient solutions to improve the quality and reliability
of the region’s water supply.
Leading water experts from across the watershed and California
Since 2000, the Colorado River Basin has experienced an historic,
extended drought causing reservoir storage in the Colorado River
system to decline from nearly full to about half of capacity. For
the Lower Basin, a key point has been to maintain the level of
Lake Mead to prevent a shortage declaration.
A healthy snowfall in the Rockies has reduced the odds of a
shortage this year, but the basin states still must come to terms
with a static supply and growing demands, as well as future
impacts from climate change.
On our Lower
Colorado River Tour, April 5-7, you will meet with water
managers from the three Lower Basin states: Nevada, Arizona and
California. Federal, state and local agencies will update you on
the latest hydrologic conditions and how recent storms might
change plans for water supply and storage.
Highlighting the Water Education Foundation’s annual Executive Briefing on March 23 is a
lunch-time address by Sen. Robert Hertzberg, chair of the Senate
Natural Resources and Water Committee.
The committee is the California Senate’s main policy venue for
what is currently a substantial slate of legislation, from a
proposed water bond (which the committee approved this week), to
bills related to new storage, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta,
groundwater and flood management infrastructure in the wake of
the damaged spillway at Oroville Dam.
Attending our annual Executive
Briefing on March 23 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, and bid throughout the day on some fun outings
and baskets of California products during an auction that
benefits our Water Leaders
Don’t miss out as the most provocative water issues will be cast
center stage on March 23 during the Water Education Foundation’s
34th annual Executive
Briefing, “Wave of Change: Breaking the Status Quo,” in
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.