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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Drought and the Delta Briefing to Feature Key Topics and Top Speakers
Sign up for free Oct. 25 event today

Find out more about the drought and its impact to water quality, fisheries and farming in the Delta region  at a free Oct. 25 briefing in Stockton.

Among the speakers will be Jay Lund, Director of the UC Center for Watershed Sciences, Delta Watermaster Michael Patrick George and Michelle Banonis, Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office.


Water Leaders Program Pairs Class Members with Experts in Policy, Management
Apply By Dec. 7 for the 2017 Water Leaders Class

Our one-year Water Leaders program gets you out of the office and into the field whether it’s on one of our water tours to the Bay-Delta or meeting with your assigned mentor.

Mentors play an important role in the program as they conduct a shadow day with class members and help to shape ideas for the class project on a key water topic. The project is turned into a report with policy recommendations that is presented to the Water Education Foundation’s Board of Directors toward the end of the year.


Back to School with Project WET
Check out these upcoming teacher workshops in California

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is a great way to teach K-12 students about one of the most precious resources on the planet – water. A program of the Water Education Foundation, California Project WET offers excellent professional development experience with an activity guide full of 90 interactive, interdisciplinary activities studying all aspects of water.


2016 California Groundwater Tour is Almost Sold Out
Join us Oct. 5-6 and immerse yourself in all there is to know about this key resource

Groundwater has proven to be a valuable savings account in California during the recent severe drought as surface water supplies have run short. This year brought some areas a temporary respite from the record dry conditions, allowing more focus on long-term California water issues. The greatest change is in groundwater management. Understanding California’s hydrogeology and patterns of groundwater use are vital to understanding the state’s future.

Our California Groundwater Tour on October 5-6 will immerse you in this important topic.


Free Briefing to Focus on Drought Impacts to the Delta
Join us Oct. 25 in Stockton

Five years of drought have severely taxed California’s rivers, reservoirs and groundwater. Across the state, water deliveries have been reduced, mandatory and voluntary conservation measures have been implemented and salmon populations have been decimated.

But what about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the hub of California’s major water supply systems that also serves as an agricultural region and a crucial ecological resource?

With National Estuaries Week upon us, we’d like to extend an invitation to you to attend a special free briefing – Drought and the Delta – on Oct. 25 to learn how the severe drought has affected the region.


Groundwater Tour Will Dig Deeply into SGMA Progress
Attendees of Oct. 5 & 6 tour will get a behind-the-scenes look into implementation strategies

California’s historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is being implemented across the state.

Every high-priority and medium-priority groundwater basin and subbasin faces different challenges and is using different strategies to create a Groundwater Sustainability Plan. One major step is the selection of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) to act as the lead agency in this process, a requirement that must be completed by June 30, 2017.


Save the Date for Our 2017 Events

2017 is already shaping up to be a big year for water issues and for the Water Education Foundation.

Next year, we will mark our 40th anniversary and organize an array of conferences examining key topics. Events for the first half of the year include:


Hot Off the Press: 2016 Autumn California Project WET Gazette is Available

The Autumn 2016 edition of the California Project WET Gazette is available free of charge on our website.

This edition of the newsletter includes:

  • A Rainy-Day Hike for the Next Generation
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Websites of Interest
  • Autumn Events
  • Grants, Scholarships and Contests
  • Student Contests

Apply for 2017 Water Leaders Class

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class. The one-year program fosters a deeper knowledge of water issues and leadership skills.

Criteria for acceptance include a commitment to understanding water issues and an interest in seeking leadership roles on public boards and commissions, or key staff positions.


Discover Hidden World of Subsidence on Upcoming Groundwater Tour
Early bird discount expires Tuesday

Extensometers are among the most valuable devices hydrogeologists use to measure subsidence, but most people – even water professionals – have never seen one. They are sensitive and carefully calibrated, so they are kept under lock and key and are often in remote locations on private property.

During our California Groundwater Tour Oct. 5-6, you will see two types of extensometers used by the California Department of Water Resources to monitor changes in elevation caused by groundwater overdraft.


Learn about California Along our Greatest Waterways During Fall Tours
Early bird discounts available for all three tours

Our 2016 tour season has three chances left for you to experience the best educational tours on California water. During these fast-paced tours, we provide historical, scientific legal and diverse views on often controversial topics to give you the whole picture of this precious natural resource.

So join us this fall as we traverse major rivers and visit groundwater sites:


New Western Water Magazine Available

In the Summer 2016 issue of the Water Education Foundation’s Western Water, Writer Gary Pitzer delves into the issue of site-specific decisions to remove dams because they are obsolete – choked by accumulated sediment, seismically vulnerable and out of compliance with federal regulations that require environmental balance.


Read the Latest Issue of River Report
Summer 2016 article explores the states’ efforts to craft a drought contingency plan

More than 15 years of drought on the Colorado River is increasing 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.

According to federal officials, there is a 65 percent chance of a shortage being declared between 2019 and 2021. To alleviate the anticipated impacts of declining levels in Lake Mead, the Colorado River Basin states and water users are working on a plan to slow the decline of the nation’s largest reservoir.


Our Groundwater Tour Takes You Out of the Conference Room and into the Field
Get the latest updates on California groundwater and how it is being managed

Why learn about groundwater in a conference room? Join us in the field where groundwater actually is! During our Oct. 5 and 6 tour, we will  explore several subbasins in the Sacramento Valley Groundwater Basin as we will travel through the agriculturally rich California counties of Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Butte.


California Groundwater Tour Added to 2016 Schedule
Dig deeply into the latest progress on SGMA; visit wineries and dairies

Our 2015 Groundwater Tour was so popular, we decided to do another one for this fall.

Join us for an updated groundwater tour October 5-6 as we explore groundwater basins in Yolo, Colusa, Butte and Glenn counties and visit groundwater monitoring stations, wells, wineries, dairies and other interesting sites.


Learn the Answers to FAQs About California Drought Conditions
Check out our new free online resource

California is no stranger to drought. When conditions become dry, water storage declines and water conservation mandates make news headlines, questions from the public often surface. Answers can be found in the Foundation’s new Drought FAQs online publication.

Comprehensive answers to what seems like an easy question are just a click away for members of the public, journalists, students and others from whether we can modify the weather to how much rain it takes to end a drought.


Groundwater Issues and Solutions the Focus of Presentations by Global Experts
International Groundwater Conference June 28-30 in San Francisco

More than 150 speakers from around the world will discuss global groundwater issues, present the latest scientific and policy information about common problems, and discuss potential solutions June 28-30 at Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd International Conference Linking Science and Policy in San Francisco.


Hot off the Press: 2016 Summer California Project WET Gazette is available

The Summer 2016 edition of the California Project WET Gazette is available free of charge on our website.

This edition of the newsletter includes:

  • Lands of Wonder – the links between California’s national parks and Project WET activities
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Websites of Interest
  • Summer Events
  • Grants, Scholarships and Contests

Global Groundwater Issues Focus of June 28-30 Conference
Hear from more than 150 experts and view more than 40 research posters

Global groundwater issues are a major focus of the June 28-30 International Groundwater Conference in San Francisco. This event will provide participants with, among other things, the opportunity to hear the latest scientific and policy information about common problems worldwide and learn about possible solutions from international experts.

Groundwater constitutes nearly half the world’s drinking water and much of the world’s irrigation water supply. Agricultural regions in all countries face similar challenges experienced in California: drought, overuse, groundwater salinity, nitrate pollution and ensuring a sustainable supply for the future.


New Western Water Magazine Issue Available
The Delta at a Crossroads

In the Spring 2016 issue of the Water Education Foundation’s Western Water, Writer Gary Pitzer delves into the dilemma of balancing needs for the economy and the environ­ment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the impor­tance of transporting water to the south.

Pitzer discusses the California WaterFix, a $15 billion plan supported by the state of California and the federal government that would involve a major re-working of the Delta plumbing system.