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! 

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Attention Lawyers: MCLE Credits Available for Our Tours, Most Events

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:



Explore Diverse Wildlife Habitat on Central Valley Tour
See how water is managed in ecologically fragile areas

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 infrastructure.


Controversial Delta Flows Among Topics at March 23 Executive Briefing

These are not the best of times for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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.


Tour the Lower Colorado River This April
See the "Lifeblood of the Southwest" up close

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.


We are hiring! Check out our Executive Assistant position
Turn in resume package by Feb. 23

The Water Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization in midtown Sacramento, is seeking a fulltime executive assistant to the executive director.


New Federal Administration and What’s Next with the Colorado River Drought

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 2018.

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.


See Key San Joaquin Valley Reservoir at Highest Water Level in Years on Central Valley Tour
San Luis Reservoir expected to fill by April 1

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 since 2011.

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.


Hear All About the World of Water Data
New California law to be discussed at March 23 briefing

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 accessible.

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.


Learn First-Hand From Farmers and Irrigators about Water Supply Impacts to Nation’s Breadbasket on Central Valley Tour

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 water quality.


Water Leaders Chosen for 2017 Class
Group of Early to Mid-Career Professionals Kicked off Yearlong Program

A select group of early to mid-career professionals from a variety of water stakeholder groups were selected as members for the 2017 class of the highly respected William R. Gianelli Water Leaders program.

The yearlong program, organized by the Water Education Foundation, began Jan. 23 with an orientation at the Foundation’s office in Sacramento. Here are the class members:


“New Water” Panel set to Discuss Ways to Augment Supply
Register today for our March 23 Executive Briefing

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 ordinances.


Winter Rain Increases Flows on the San Joaquin River
March Central Valley water tour will analyze drought impacts

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.


Santa Ana Watershed Conference to be Held For First Time Since 2014
Conference sponsorship opportunities available for May 25 event

The Santa Ana River Watershed Conference is being held this year for the first time since 2014, and is expected to draw some 250 attendees from across the watershed and beyond.

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 disadvantage communities.


Wave of Change: Breaking the Status Quo
2017 Executive Briefing set for March 23

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 Sacramento.


Go Deep into California’s Breadbasket to Explore Water Issues
First Foundation tour of 2017 traverses the San Joaquin Valley

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, March 8-10.


Drought Along the Colorado River
Our latest River Report explores steps being taken in the Upper Basin

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 allocations.


Water 101 Workshop Agenda Now Posted

Learn all about California water at our popular Water 101 Workshop.

The event, held once a year, gives attendees a chance to gain a deeper understanding of our state’s most precious natural resource, including the history, hydrology, legal aspects of water, along with hot topics.

The agenda is now posted for the Feb. 2-3 event in West Sacramento. Check it out here and see all the experts lined up to teach the various sessions.

Press release

Former Bureau Commissioner Bob Johnson Elected Board President of Water Education Foundation
Board of Directors Also Elects Former California Natural Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman as Board Member and Elevates Celeste Cantú to Board Secretary

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Bob Johnson, a former commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, was elected president of the Water Education Foundation’s board of directors, taking the helm as the organization marks its 40th anniversary in 2017.

Johnson replaces Bill Mills, who had been president since 2007 and will remain on the board as a director. Mills is a water consultant who was general manager of the Orange County Water District from 1987 to 2002.

Announcement Jennifer Bowles

Happy 2017 From the Water Education Foundation – A Letter from the Executive Director
Water 101, Headwater Tours, our 40th Anniversary and more!

Happy New Year to the supporters and followers of the Water Education Foundation!

This will be a big year for the Foundation as we celebrate our 40th anniversary! We began in 1977 in the second year of a drought. Jimmy Carter was in the White House and Jerry Brown was governor of California. Some things never change!

We are planning a few events to mark the milestone – a picnic in the summer for attendees of our tours no matter how long ago you joined us for an outing, and a special dinner in the fall.


Project WET Gazette – Winter 2017

The Winter 2017 California Project WET Gazette is “live” on the Water Education Foundation website. The ocean is the focus of the winter edition, which includes an ‘Oceans Habitat’ activity.

The list of 2017 workshops is growing! Check out the workshops.