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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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.


Get Inside Scoop on Latest Water-Related Legislation at Water 101 Workshop

Take the mystery out of how water laws are developed and discover how legislation involving key water issues evolves through the California Legislature during our upcoming Water 101 Workshop in West Sacramento on Feb. 4.

Dennis O’Connor, Principal Consultant for the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, will also give the latest information on water-related bills, including the potential for a public good charge on water and those connected to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.


Groundwater, Climate Change and Latest Delta Developments Among Topics at Executive Briefing
Agenda Posted For March 17 Event

Financing water infrastructure, implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the latest developments on the Bay-Delta and new climate change research are all topics of discussion at the 33rd Annual Executive Briefing on March 17 in Sacramento.

“Defining the New Normal” – the conference theme – will feature some top speakers, including State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.


Water Leaders Chosen for 2016 Class
Group of Young Professionals to Kick Off Yearlong Program on Jan. 28

A select group of young professionals from a variety of water stakeholder groups were chosen to participate in the 2016 class of the highly respected William R. Gianelli Water Leaders program put on by the Water Education Foundation.

The yearlong program begins Jan. 28 in Sacramento at the Foundation’s office.

2016 Class members are:


California’s Complicated Water Rights System to be Explained at Water 101 Workshop

California’s complicated water rights system was highlighted in the last few years as water rights were curtailed by state regulators due to the drought. That action prompted some water rights holders to go to court to retain their rights. Others called for a revamping of the water rights system all together.

Arguments aside, what’s the difference between a senior water right and a junior water right as highlighted in many news articles? Or a riparian right and an appropriative right? And how are they determined?


Get Behind-The-Scenes View of Hoover Dam
Early Bird Prices for Lower Colorado River Tour End Feb. 2

When you hop on a Water Education Foundation tour bus, you get a special behind-the-scenes look at water facilities and properties not open to the general public. On our March 2-4 Lower Colorado River Tour you will not only get a private tour of Hoover Dam, but you also will be among the first to set foot in the dam’s new Nevada Spillway House.


Climate Scientist Brad Udall to Speak at Executive Briefing

With the warmest year on record just behind us, what lies ahead? That’s the question climate scientist Brad Udall will discuss at the Water Education Foundation’s March 17 Executive Briefing in Sacramento.

In his presentation, “Thriving During Climate and Water Change: Strategies for the 21st Century,” Udall will address research findings related to how climate change will impact the hydrology of water supplies in the West and the projected impacts on people and the ecosystem.


Discussion on Key and Controversial Delta Issues Set for March 17 Briefing

Key Issues surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – the proposed tunnels, ecosystem restoration, water quality standards and water agencies’ attempts to buy some Delta islands – will be  discussed at the Water Education Foundation’s 33rd annual Executive Briefing.