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.


Foundation Seeks Insightful Writer to Join Our Journalism Team and Cover West’s Most Important Natural Resource – Water
Our latest Western Water article examines how drought & climate change in the Colorado River Basin threaten to upend collaborative efforts to equitably share a shrinking river

We’re looking for a special kind of writer to join our team who is eager to produce the kinds of insightful and challenging stories we pursue, such as our latest Western Water article on how drought and climate change are threatening to upend collaboration in the Colorado River Basin.

Are you a journalist enthralled by the history, policy and science behind Western water issues? Then you might be just the right person to join our team. We’re looking for a full-time writer who is deeply knowledgeable about the West’s most precious natural resource in California and the Colorado River Basin, enjoys a fast-paced environment and possesses strong multimedia skills. Learn more about the job here.


Ringing in a Year of Hope (Again) with the Water Education Foundation
Water Leaders Turns 25 And We're Expanding the Program; Find Out More in Executive Director's Letter

Jenn Bowles, Water Education Foundation Executive DirectorHappy New Year to all the friends, supporters, readers and tour and workshop participants of the Water Education Foundation! We’re grateful to each and every person who interacted with us in 2021, especially as we continued to pivot our in-person programming to virtual and, in some cases, hybrid platforms.

As we turn the page to 2022, we are cautiously returning to in-person tours and events in mid-March with our Lower Colorado River Tour. While the current COVID-19 strain, omicron, is expected to fizzle out by then, we will be implementing precautions to keep everyone safe.

Logo for Colorado River Water Leaders program

Join Jan. 13 Q&A for Colorado River Water Leaders Program; Staff Writer Position Open; Save the Date for Our Lower Colorado River Tour in March

The West is experiencing extraordinary and historic turmoil surrounding water resources and drought, despite recent storms that plumped up much-needed snowpack in the mountains. At the Foundation, we are gearing up this year to focus even more on the Colorado River Basin, the West’s iconic river that supplies 40 million people from Denver to Los Angeles and irrigates more than 4 million acres of crops.

Check out a few things going on: 

Logo for Colorado River Water Leaders program

Join Colorado River Water Leaders Q&A; Last Day for Holiday Deal on Water Book; Save the Date for the Lower Colo. River Tour

As the year comes to a close and the holidays approach, don’t forget to get your deal on our water book. Right around the corner is our Lower Colorado River Tour in March; get the details below to save the date. And don’t miss your chance next Tuesday to learn more about applying for our inaugural 2022 Colorado River Water Leaders program.


Apply for Our Inaugural Colorado River Water Leaders Class
Foundation to launch new program during the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact; join Dec. 21 virtual Q&A session

California Water Leaders at Palo Verde DamKnown for our popular Water Leaders program in California – about to mark its 25th anniversary – we are now launching a Colorado River Water Leaders program in 2022, the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact.

The biennial program will select rising stars from the seven U.S. states that rely on the river – California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico – to participate in the seven-month class designed for working professionals. Class members will explore issues surrounding the iconic Southwest river, deepen their water knowledge and build leadership skills. 


Completely Redesigned Layperson’s Guide to California Water Is Hot Off The Press!
10th edition of our popular guide includes new section on human need for water & updates on water conservation, drought, the Delta, the Salton Sea & more

Image of the cover to Layperson's Guide to California WaterOur Layperson’s Guide to California Water has been completely redesigned and updated throughout for 2021, providing an excellent overview of the history of water development and its use in California today.

The 10th Edition of our popular guide to California water includes the latest information on the state’s changing hydrology, recent water conservation legislation, and a new section on the human right to and need for water, highlighting issues of water access and affordability that have drawn increasing attention in California.


2021 Water Leaders Class Releases Policy Recommendations for Achieving Water Equity In California

2021 Water Leaders ClassOur 2021 Water Leaders class completed its year with a report outlining policy recommendations for achieving water equity in California.

The class of 23 up-and-coming leaders from various water-related fields – engineers, attorneys, planners, environmentalists and scientists – had full editorial control to choose recommendations.


Don’t Miss This Sweet Holiday Deal on a Beautiful Water Book
Get 35% off Water & the Shaping of California, the perfect holiday gift for anyone interested in water

Here’s a sweet deal for the holidays that won’t last long: Get our paperback “Water & the Shaping of California,” a treasure trove of gorgeous color photos, historic maps, water literature and famous sayings about water for just $22.75 – a 35% discount.

“Water & the Shaping of California” is a beautifully designed book that discusses the engineering feats, political decisions and popular opinions that reshaped nature and society, leading to the water projects that created the California we know today. The book includes a foreword by the late Kevin Starr, the Golden State’s premier historian.


Today On Giving Tuesday, Support Water Education in California and the West
Our programs help train the next generation of water leaders and consumers

Today on Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity, consider supporting the Water Education Foundation by making a donation.

The Foundation, an impartial nonprofit that has garnered the highest level of recognition (platinum rating) by GuideStar, has been educating people about water issues in California and the West since 1977.


Apply for California’s Premier Water Leadership Program by Dec. 7
Deepen water knowledge, build leadership skills during program's 25th anniversary; ACWA fellowship available

Apply by Dec. 7 for our 2022 Water Leaders class and be part of the cohort that will mark the 25th anniversary of California’s pre-eminent water leadership program.

The Water Leaders class, which started in 1997, is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of California water issues and building leadership skills by working with a mentor, studying a water-related topic in-depth and crafting policy recommendations on that topic with your cohort.

The deadline to apply for the 2022 class is Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Find the online application form and other required items for your application package here.


Last Chance to Register for Today’s Virtual Headwaters Tour
Final Online Event of the Year Features Live Q&A with Sierra Nevada Headwaters Experts

Our water tours are lauded because they are both fun and educational, so don’t miss your chance to experience our last online tour event of the year. Register now for our Tuesday, Nov. 9, Headwaters Tour and we’ll take you on an engaging virtual journey across the upper watershed of a major Sierra-fed river to learn the important role forests play in California’s water supply.

The virtual Headwaters Tour travels through portions of the American River watershed, beginning at the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains and heading down into the foothills and eventually ending at Folsom Lake near Sacramento.


Support Water Education in California and the West Through Workplace Giving
Water Education Foundation participates in payroll deduction programs with federal, state and private employers

You can more easily support the important work done by the Water Education Foundation in California and across the West by making a tax-deductible gift via a one-time payroll deduction through your employer or a set amount per pay period.

The contributions through Workplace Giving programs support our nonprofit’s mission to inspire understanding of water and catalyze critical conversations to build bridges and inform collaborative decision-making.

Speakers on our Central Valley Tour as they appear on the tour video.

Last Chance to Register for Thursday’s Central Valley Tour; Join Online Q&A for 2022 Water Leader Apps
Foundation's Fall Programming Wraps Up Next Tuesday with Virtual Headwaters Tour

As the year comes to a close, so does our schedule of educational programming with just two more virtual journeys remaining this Thursday and next Tuesday. And don’t miss your chance this Thursday to learn more about applying for our 2022 Water Leaders program, now in its 25th year.

You still have an opportunity to experience the Foundation’s remaining virtual journeys this fall (see below) as your favorite tour guide Nick Gray whisks you away to explore key California rivers and water regions. Each tour will run from 2:30-5:30 p.m. PT and includes:

  • An overview presentation of the region’s critical topics
  • A guided video tour of key locations — farms, wetlands, dams and reservoirs, wildlife habitats — to gain a stronger understanding on a variety of water supply issues and the latest policy developments
  • Live Q&A with experts in chat rooms so participants can dive deeper into the topics, including the drought gripping California.

Last Chance to Register for Thursday’s Water Summit; Join Online Q&A for 2022 Water Leader Apps; Journey into the Central Valley and Headwaters

As we wind down 2021 at the Water Education Foundation, we are hosting a few more educational events and fun virtual journeys to boost your water knowledge.

Water Summit, Oct. 28:

Aerial photo of a portion of Lake Oroville in July 2021 showing almost no water, the result of a two-year drought.Despite the deluge of rain sparked by an atmospheric river in Northern California this week, the state is still gripped by an unprecedented drought.

Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, and others will discuss how the drought has impacted wildlife, farms, cities and more at our Water Summit on Thursday, and explore what longer-term projects and partnerships are aiming to make the state more drought resilient.

Click here to find out more and register for Thursday’s Water Summit virtual forum and the optional in-person reception cruise aboard an open-air yacht on the Sacramento River. Foundation members get discounted prices to attend.


DWR’s Karla Nemeth Among Speakers At Oct. 28 Water Summit Virtual Forum; Agenda & Speaker List Posted
Join us online for our annual premier event & in person for an optional reception cruise on the Sacramento River

Lake Oroville in July 2021Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, will be among the speakers at our Water Summit virtual forum next week to examine what’s being done to get through a drought once again gripping California and explore some of the creative efforts and collaborations being developed to address the challenges moving forward.

Our annual premier event, with the theme Pivoting Today’s Pain into Tomorrow’s Gain, is hosted this year as an engaging virtual experience on the afternoon of Oct. 28, followed by an optional in-person reception. The forum will feature a broad spectrum of perspectives from across the state, including Nemeth, who will detail current on-the-ground impacts of the drought and the efforts being taken in the short-term to navigate through it.


Support Water Education in California Through Workplace Giving
Foundation is now part of federal, state and private programs allowing donations through payroll deductions

It’s workplace giving season, the time of year when anyone in the workplace can show their support for the organizations and causes they love.

All state, federal and private workplace giving programs are now open, allowing donations through payroll deductions.


Applications for 2022 Water Leaders Class Now Available
Apply by Dec. 7 for program that promotes a deeper understanding of statewide water issues

Water Leader takes notes during orientation.Applications are now available for our yearlong Water Leaders class.

One of our most popular programs, the Water Leaders class is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of California water issues and building leadership skills with class members by studying a water-related topic in-depth and working with a mentor. 

Water Education Foundation Honored Nationally for Program that Trains Teachers in Climate Change Science
The Foundation’s teacher training program was recognized for its innovative partnership with the California Department of Water Resources

Water Education Foundation logoThe Water Education Foundation has won a national award for its innovative partnership with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to train schoolteachers across the state on climate science and how they can bring hands-on activities into their classrooms connected to local examples of climate change impacts.

The award was presented today by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry during their virtual Climate Leadership Series and Awards Showcase, Oct. 13-15. The Climate Leadership Awards is a national program that recognizes exemplary corporate, organizational and individual leadership in response to climate change. In all, 24 organizations nationwide were honored this year.


Last Chance to Register for our Northern California Tour; Water Summit Just Around the Corner
Join us online Oct. 14 for a virtual journey across the Sacramento Valley and Oct. 28 for our annual premier event

Aerial photo of a portion of Lake Oroville in July 2021 showing almost no water, the result of a two-year drought.Learn about the drought now plaguing California and steps being taken to abate the impacts at our annual Water Summit later this month, and gain a deeper understanding of the state’s biggest watershed relied on by millions for drinking water during our Northern California Tour this Thursday.


Visit Oroville and Shasta Dams, Rice Farms, Wetlands and More During our Online Northern California Tour
Grab Your Ticket While They Last for our Engaging Virtual Journey into the Sacramento Valley Oct. 14

Reconstructed Oroville SpillwayRegister now for next week’s virtual Northern California Tour on Oct. 14 to explore the Sacramento River and its tributaries and learn about issues associated with a key source for the state’s water supply, including the drought now gripping California.

During the afternoon online event, you’ll visit rice farms and wetlands in the Sacramento Valley and hear from farmers and environmentalists about efforts to restore runs of endangered chinook salmon and help birds along the Pacific Flyway. You’ll also get up close to Oroville Dam, a key component of the State Water Project, and learn how its two spillways were repaired following a catastrophic 2017 storm, and visit other major infrastructure such as Shasta Dam, part of the federal Central Valley Project. In addition, you’ll visit the area being eyed for the proposed Sites Reservoir. Seating on the virtual “tour bus” is limited, so get your ticket here