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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Learn Firsthand about Drought on the Colorado River

As 2016 began, Lake Mead’s level of almost 1,082 feet was a scant seven feet above the first trigger point for a shortage determination for the year. Thus, Arizona and Nevada barely escaped seeing their water supplies cut back this year.

But there is an 18 percent probability of a shortage in 2017.  

With the Colorado River suffering through a 16-year dry period, drought-response activities have become the standard in water management in the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada.


Agenda Now Posted for Water 101 Workshop
Learn about California water basics and go beyond the headlines

Learn from top experts at our Water 101 Workshop in February about the history, hydrology and water law behind California water as well as hot topics such as groundwater, the Delta and storage being funded by $2.7 billion from Prop. 1.

Check out the agenda for the one-day workshop on February 4, with an optional second, half day.

Among the topics on Day 1 are:


Happy New Year! Make a splash in 2016 by joining one of our events
A letter from the executive director

Dear Foundation supporters and friends,

Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bowles The staff at the Water Education Foundation would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

We are excited about 2016 and have some great events happening this year.

Our popular Water 101 Workshop is fast-approaching in early February in the Sacramento area. This once-a-year event is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to go beyond the headlines and gain a deeper understanding of the history, hydrology and legal system behind California water. The daylong workshop has an optional second, half day.

Press release

Update to Layperson’s Guide to California Water Just Published; Available for Order Now

The Layperson’s Guide to California Water, the anchor of the Water Education Foundation’s popular series of Layperson’s Guides, has just been updated and published.

“We felt an update was in order, given all of the developments over the past couple of years – the drought, the water bond and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act,” said Jennifer Bowles, Foundation executive director.


Register Today to Attend the Foundation’s March 17 Executive Briefing
State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus Among Top Speakers

The 33rd annual Executive Briefing, Defining the New Normal, will feature a lineup of top speakers, including State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.

The Briefing will be at a new location this year – the DoubleTree by Hilton Sacramento, 2001 Point West Way, in Sacramento. The latest information on implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the future of the Delta are two of the topics to be discussed by panels of experts from a broad point of views.


Tour the Lower Colorado River this March
See the "lifeblood of the Southwest" up close

Tickets are now on sale for the Water Education Foundation’s March 2-4 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, the Havasu National Wildlife refuge. The tour also visits the Salton Sea and farming regions in the Imperial and Coachella valleys.


Dry, Wet or Average? The Challenges for Water Project Operations
New Date: February 23, 2016

This free briefing sponsored by the Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation will discuss forecasts of water project operations in the coming year.

Water year 2016 has officially begun, and all eyes are on the weather and the potential runoff. But even if the projected heavy El Niño becomes reality, the state’s drought-impacted reservoirs are still a major concern.


Water 101 Workshop a Rare Opportunity for New Directors, Anyone Interested in Learning More about the Critical Resource

Our Water 101 Workshop in February in West Sacramento is a unique, once-a-year opportunity designed to give newly elected water district directors and other participants a chance to go beyond the headlines and gain a deeper understanding of California water.

Participants will learn from top experts such as former Natural Resources secretary Lester Snow about:


Less than a Week Left to Apply for the 2016 Water Leader Class

Water Leaders enjoy the Foundation's 2015 Bay-Delta tour.

Tick-tock! Monday Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to apply for the 2016 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class, a one-year program that fosters a deeper knowledge of water issues and enhances 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.

Click here for more information and to download an application.


Line-Up for 2016 Water Tours Just Announced!
Mark your calendars!

The Water Education Foundation has announced the line-up for its 2016 water tours. Six tours, including a new one to the San Diego area to visit the new Carlsbad ocean desalination plant and other interesting sites, will be offered:


Learn from Top Experts, Policymakers at Water 101 Workshop

As drought, El Niño and groundwater issues continue to dominate headlines, attend our popular Water 101 workshop to learn from leading policymakers and experts about key issues associated with the life-sustaining resource.

Among the speakers on the first day of the 1-1/2 day workshop on February 4-5 at the West Sacramento City Hall are:


Defining the New Normal
2016 Executive Briefing Set for March 17

Climate change, hydrologic conditions and living within a new normal when it comes to water management are two of the key topics to be addressed at this year’s Executive Briefing, the Water Education Foundation’s annual, flagship conference.

The 33rd annual event, “Defining the New Normal,” will feature key speakers and top experts in their fields. The Briefing will be March 17 at a new location this year – the DoubleTree by Hilton Sacramento, 2001 PointWest Way, in Sacramento.


Apply for 2016 Water Leaders Class By December 7

Apply now for our 2016 Water Leaders class. Students of the popular, one-year program gain a deeper understanding of California water issues and learn how to collaborate with other stakeholder groups.

Among other things, class members:


Unique Agricultural Groundwater Conference this Summer in San Francisco

Don’t miss the must-attend groundwater conference of 2016 focusing on the world’s agricultural regions next summer in San Francisco!

Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture 2016: 2nd International Conference Linking Science and Policy will focus on the latest scientific, management, legal and policy advances for sustaining our groundwater resources in agricultural regions around the world.


Read our Updated Handbook on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Free Foundation publication now has chapters on SGMA fees and four case studies

Earlier this year the Water Education Foundation published a free online handbook with background information on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, signed into law in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The handbook has just been updated to include chapters on SGMA fees and case studies of SGMA implementation underway in Stanislaus and Kern counties, the Pajaro Valley and the Colusa subbasin. Click here to read the updated handbook.


Join Us on a Two-Day Tour of the $1.2 Billion San Joaquin River Restoration

Join us on our last tour of 2015 as we move along the San Joaquin River Nov. 5-6 and explore one of the nation’s largest river restoration projects.

Efforts to restore flows to a 60-mile, mostly dry stretch of the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam near Fresno to the confluence of Merced River have been challenging and sometimes controversial.


New Western Water Magazine Issue Available
“Rewriting History: California’s Epic Drought"

In the September/October issue of Western Water magazine, Writer Gary Pitzer explores the impacts of California’s severe drought on cities, business, agriculture and environment. In all, experts say this drought is charting new territory.

After four years of drought, California has endured cumulative years of deficit, which have taken their toll. The 2014 water year tied the 1977 water year with a snowpack of 25 percent of normal. Water year 2015, which ended Sept. 30, was even worse.


See the Effects of the Drought in NoCal Firsthand from the Source
Last call for the Northern California Tour, Oct. 21-23, 2015

Seats are going fast – book yours today! This 3-day, 2-night tour travels the length of the Sacramento Valley and explores the issues of this major California water source.

Stops include Oroville and Shasta dams to witness the low water levels in the reservoirs and hear from experts about what’s being done and future implications of the drought. The stop at Shasta will include a houseboat cruise on the reservoir. Shasta Dam


San Joaquin River Restoration Tour
Register now for the last tour of 2015

The San Joaquin River Restoration Tour, on Nov. 5-6, will explore the challenges and controversies related to restoration activities, especially in a year of extreme drought.

The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most contentious legal battles in California water history related to providing instream flows for fish. A 2006 settlement between the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Users Authority led to creation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.


Learn More About Water with Maps

The Water Education Foundation is known for its colorful, poster-sized maps detailing specific waterways and information about their watersheds, including California water, the lower Colorado River and the Delta.

These maps are guaranteed to help you better understand California’s complex water story. Start your collection today! Click here to see the Foundation’s map inventory.