Foundation News

Find out what the Water Education Foundation is up to with announcements about upcoming events, tours, new Western Water articles on key water topics and more! Sign up here to get announcements sent to your inbox.


Nitrate Policy and Sustainable Groundwater Management on Tap for International Gathering
Sponsorships, exhibit space still available for June conference in San Francisco

Emerging contaminants, sustainable groundwater management and nitrate and salinity policies are among the topics on tap for the three-day Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd International Conference Linking Science and Policy.

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 agenda.


First San Diego Tour in Five Years Visits Ocean Desal Plant, Other High-Tech Sites and Natural Landscapes
Early bird prices good until April 19

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.

Press release

Rita Schmidt Sudman, Longtime Observer of California Water, Coauthors New Book with Artist/Essayist Stephanie Taylor
“Water: More or Less” also features essays from top policymakers and stakeholders, including Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bowles

Media Contact:
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.


Central Valley Tour Brings You Up Close to Historic Drought Impacts
Farmers on San Joaquin Valley’s eastside to get deliveries from federal water project

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.


Experts to Discuss Progress on California’s Historic Groundwater Law
International groundwater conference June 28-30 in San Francisco

California was the last state in the West to regulate groundwater when lawmakers passed the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

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 communities.


Capitol Weekly Conference to Focus on Water Policy
Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bowles to moderate panel on storage

Capitol Weekly and the University of California, UC Center are sponsoring their third annual conference devoted to California water policy.

The day-long Water: 2016 in Sacramento on April 28 will be filmed for broadcast by the California Channel. Register here to take advantage of discounted prices that end after Monday.


See New Ocean Desalination Plant on San Diego Tour

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 Western hemisphere.

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.


Water Year 2016: The Challenges of Water Project Operations
Free Briefing April 26 at CSU Fresno

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 CSU Fresno.


Pat Mulroy to Deliver This Year’s Anne Schneider Lecture

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 Lecture.

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.”


The Search for Infrastructure Dollars to Improve California Water
Panel discusses key issues at March 17 Executive Briefing

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.


Central Valley Tour Provides Insight into Groundwater Management
Early bird discount ends this Monday

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.


New Western Water Magazine Issue Available
“Tapping the Ocean: What is the Role of Desalination.”

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 California.


Hot Topics Around Bay-Delta On Tap for Executive Briefing

The Bay-Delta is always in the news. But 2016 will see headlines about some significant developments – particularly in relation to the $15.5 billion twin tunnels proposal.

The “State of the Delta: Tunnels, Habitat and More” panel at the March 17 Executive Briefing will feature five leading experts representing a broad slate of stakeholders. Some of the key issues to be discussed:


Bid on Lunch with Lester Snow, Rita Schmidt Sudman’s New Book at Executive Briefing Auction
Auction also includes tickets to SF Giants, Sacramento Kings games, Disneyland, canoe trip and more

Attending our March 17 Executive Briefing is more than just hearing in-depth discussions on the hottest water topics. Besides a hosted reception afterward, you get the chance to bid on some fun events, outings and baskets of food grown in California during an auction that benefits the Water Education Foundation’s Water Leaders program.


Join Us on the April 13-15 Central Valley Tour
Early-bird registration discounts end March 13

Sign-ups are underway for the Foundation’s April  13-15 Central Valley Tour, which gives participants a better understanding of water use and issues in the San Joaquin Valley as they weave through the nation’s breadbasket.

The tour visits farms and major infrastructure, such as Friant Dam near Fresno and San Luis Reservoir, the nation’s largest off-stream reservoir in the United States and a key water facility serving both the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.


Karen Ross, Lester Snow and Bill Alley Among Speakers at International Groundwater Conference

Karen Ross, California’s food and agricultural chief, and Lester Snow, former Natural Resources Secretary, are among the key speakers at an international groundwater conference this summer in San Francisco.

Ross will help kick off Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd International Conference Linking Science and Policy during the opening plenary session June 28. The event runs through June 30 at the Hyatt Regency at the San Francisco Airport in Burlingame.


Top Policy Experts and Issues Key to California’s Water Future on Tap for Executive Briefing
Natural Resources Secretary John Laird Among the Top Speakers

This annual must-attend event features provocative discussions examining the new normal – how climate change will impact the hydrology of water supplies in the West  – Delta tunnels, SGMA: Part Two, and more.

The Water Education Foundation’s annual flagship event will be held March 17, 2016 in Sacramento. The theme for this year’s Executive Briefing is “Defining the New Normal.” 


Water Project Operations in a Time of Drought/El Niño
Join us for a free Feb. 23 briefing to learn about plans for state and federal water projects

What will happen with water year 2016? Reservoirs were at record lows. Recent precipitation has boosted storage levels but will it be enough? What is the operation plan for the state and federal water projects?


Rita Schmidt Sudman Co-Authors Book on California Water
Water: More or Less now available for order

Rita Schmidt Sudman, former executive director of the Water Education Foundation, has co-authored a new book on California water.


Enjoy Recreational Forays and Cultural Treats during Lower Colorado River Tour

Early bird prices end Tuesday for our upcoming Lower Colorado River Tour, lauded for its broad range of speakers on issues key to the “lifeblood of the Southwest” as the three-day tour winds through Nevada, Arizona and California.

In addition to meeting with water experts across the Southwest and touring key infrastructure such as Hoover Dam, the tour offers some recreational and cultural attractions.