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Water year 2016 is an improvement over the previous four severely
dry years, but drought conditions persist in the San Joaquin
Valley. As growers confront reduced surface water allocations,
they continue to turn to groundwater. This heavy reliance on
groundwater has resulted in declining water
levels, increased overdraft and a heightened awareness of
the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
California’s new landmark groundwater rules will be a key focus
during Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd
International Conference Linking Science and Policy June
28-30 in the San Francisco area.
Glenda Humiston, vice president of Agriculture & Natural
Resources at UC Davis, will deliver a keynote address on the
opening day: “California Perspectives: Agriculture at a
Crossroads to Groundwater Sustainability?”
Our annual Bay-Delta Tour is our most popular tour. Last year it
sold out with almost 100 participants! Don’t miss your
opportunity to reserve a seat for this year’s June 15-17 tour –
this Monday is the deadline for an early-bird discount on
During this contentious year for Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
water policy, this tour will offer you the chance to hear
from a diverse selection of experts on all sides of the proposed
WaterFix/Delta tunnels project, including water administrators,
environmentalists, farmers, engineers and scientists.
Go beyond the basics of drought-tolerant landscaping and learn
the latest on sustainable landscapes, hear about plant selection
and constraints, and get tips from nursery and landscape experts
at our May 18 workshop in Southern California.
As California continues to suffer from a drought, now in its
fifth year, outdoor watering is one of the biggest ways to reduce
water use at homes and businesses. Outdoor watering can account
for 50 percent or more of a home’s total water use.
Join us on our Bay-Delta
Tour as we start out exploring the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta, a 720,000-acre network of islands and canals that provides
a funnel for drinking water for more than 25 million Californians
and irrigation water to 3 million acres of farmland.
Water management challenges on the farm and in the city will be
the focus of two special free briefings – in Fresno and
Escondido - cosponsored by the Water Education
Foundation and the California Department of Water
In Fresno next Tuesday, this year’s
challenges of water project operations for the San Joaquin Valley
will be discussed by speakers from DWR and the Bureau of
Attendees will also get the opportunity to learn about research
on a host of international groundwater topics during two poster
sessions. More than 150 speakers from around the world are on the
For the first time in five years, the Water Education Foundation
is conducting a tour of key infrastructure and other
water-related sites in San Diego County.
The two-day tour May
19-20 will offer a look at a unique mix of high-tech strategies
to modernize urban water systems and increase resiliency against
future drought and shortages. The tour also will stop at natural
water-related landscapes such as rare coastal wetlands.
Rita Schmidt Sudman
SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Rita Schmidt Sudman, former
executive director of the Water Education Foundation, and
artist/essayist Stephanie Taylor are coauthors of the newly
published “Water: More or Less,” an anthology of story, art and
policy about water in California.
For the first time since 2013, irrigation districts in the Friant
Water Authority on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley will
receive water allocations from the Central Valley Project.
With Millerton Reservoir at almost 70 percent capacity, water
supplies are sufficient to provide 15,000 farms with much-needed
relief from the historic drought. The cities of Fresno, Orange
Cove and Lindsay, and Madera County also will receive some water.
California was the last state in the West to regulate groundwater
when lawmakers passed the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management
Widely considered the most important water law in 100 years, SGMA
for the first time empowered local agencies to adopt groundwater
management plans tailored to the resources and needs of their
Join us for our new San Diego
Tour in May and be among the first to visit the new Carlsbad
ocean desalination plant, the largest such facility in the
After more than 10 years of development, the desal plant built
by Poseidon formally launched in December, desalting and then
pumping out 50 million gallons of fresh water each day into San
Diego’s local supply.
What will happen with water year 2016? Reservoirs started
the year at record lows but recent storms have boosted
storage levels. Will it be enough to lift California out of its
historic drought? And what are the operation plans for
California’s two big water projects – the State Water Project and
the federal Central Valley Project?
These are just a few of the topics to be discussed at our
free April 26
briefing “Water Year 2016: The Challenges of Water Project
Operations.” The day-long event will be held at the Alice
Peters Auditorium (PB 191) in the University Business Center at
Pat Mulroy, a leading figure in Western water and the former
general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority who
oversaw the agency during a major period of growth and
drought, will deliver this year’s Anne J. Schneider
The annual water law and policy lecture will be held on April 6,
2016 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
Mulroy will speak on “Interdependent Resilience: Beyond the
Doctrine of Prior Appropriation.”
When the nation’s civil engineers rated America’s infrastructure
in 2013, they issued an overall grade of D+.
California’s scores, assessed by the American Society of
Civil Engineers’ report card, were not much better: Wastewater,
C+; drinking water, C; levees and flood control, D.
The grades underscore two of the biggest challenges facing all
levels of government: How to fund system improvements and how to
finance new multi-purpose infrastructure.
A lively panel discussion at the Water Education
Foundation’s March 17 Executive
Briefing in Sacramento will examine traditional public
funding and Prop. 218, private financing and the idea of
impact investment to boost water infrastructure.
Our tours give you unparalleled access into California’s water
management and the challenges facing our future water supplies.
On the annual Central
Valley Tour April 13-15, you will be face-to-face with
authorities creating Groundwater Sustainability Plans in the
lands most threatened by groundwater overdraft.
They will give you their personal experience with the Sustainable
Groundwater Management Act and how this new regulatory structure
will impact California.
Seawater desalination is the focus of the latest issue of the
Water Education Foundation’s flagship publication, Western
Water, now available in a quarterly format with new
features. In the Winter 2016 issue, Writer Gary Pitzer explores
the emerging interest in and growing role of desalination in