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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Join Us Thursday for Virtual Water Trivia
Have fun and support water education on Big Day of Giving

To celebrate the Big Day of Giving, the Water Education Foundation is hosting virtual water trivia this Thursday on our social media channels, and we invite you to join in the fun.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. PDT May 7, Programs Manager Nick Gray will host three short water trivia rounds live on Facebook and via posts on Twitter. We hope you will join us to show off your water knowledge and have a chance at winning prizes. Check out more details here


Special COVID-19 Webpage Now Includes Newsfeed for Water-Related Coronavirus Articles
Page also explains tap water safety, flushing protocols and offers online water lesson ideas

Our special COVID-19 webpage dedicated to providing ideas for teaching online or at home now includes a newsfeed where you can find the latest coronavirus-related water news.

To access the latest COVID-19 water news, click on our special page and scroll down to Stay in the Know.


Our 2020 Tours and Events Schedule Has Been Updated to Keep Everyone Healthy
Save the dates for our annual Water Summit and rescheduled Bay-Delta & Headwaters tours

In response to updated COVID-19 public health guidelines, the Water Education Foundation has further adjusted our 2020 in-person programming schedule to ensure the safety and health of our partners, event attendees and staff.


The Foundation Offers Resources for Teaching Online or at Home and Other COVID-19 Water-Related Updates

The coronavirus pandemic has upended daily routines for many parents, teachers, water professionals and others. For parents and teachers, the challenge is keeping children engaged in their education despite school closures. For others, the challenge may be keeping up with water news while working remotely. 

For those looking for information about water in California and the West, the Water Education Foundation continues to provide a variety of resources, as well as updates and new information online related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Water Education Foundation Updates 2020 In-Person Programming Schedule
Save the dates for our annual Water Summit and rescheduled Central Valley Tour

The Water Education Foundation appreciates your understanding as we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments and adjust our 2020 programming to ensure the safety and health of our partners, event attendees and staff.

With that said, our 2020 Water Summit is still on for Sept. 24 in Sacramento, so save the date! Our annual premier event will feature key policymakers, stakeholders and experts providing the latest information and viewpoints on issues affecting water across California and the West.


Join Us May 7 for a Virtual Open House on Big Day of Giving
Learn about the various ways the Foundation is serving our mission and delivering programs through COVID-19 to foster public understanding about water

Join us May 7 for a “virtual” open house to learn more about how we are educating and fostering understanding of California’s most precious natural resource - water – through the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the open house, you can chat with our staff about our water tours, conferences, maps, publications, and training programs for teachers and up-and-coming water industry professionals. You’ll also be able to learn more about how you can support our work.

Announcement Jennifer Bowles

Bidding Adieu to a Giant in the California Water World
Bill Gianelli paved the way for generations of water leaders

Last week, we lost a giant in the California water world. 

Bill Gianelli wasn’t just a director of the state’s Department of Water Resources, he was a key founding figure of the Water Education Foundation.

In the 1990s he left an endowment to help launch our Water Leaders program. Today there are more than 400 graduates across California and beyond.


Water Education Foundation Programming Subject to Change in Response to COVID-19
Learn how to reach us via email as we work remotely

In light of recent developments regarding COVID-19, we wanted to reach out and provide an update on our 2020 programming schedule.

The Water Education Foundation is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments, which have created uncertainty for us all. And just like every organization, we are unsure how this will play out, for how long and how it will affect our upcoming in-person programming.

What is clear is the seriousness of this rapidly spreading virus. Thus, we are taking the following steps:


San Joaquin Valley’s Water Issues and Challenges Explored on Central Valley Tour April 22-24
Early-bird tickets end March 11 for this tour that visits dams, water projects, farms, wildlife areas and more on educational trek through valley

Farmer Joe Del Bosque talks with Central Valley Tour participants during a stop at his orchard. Weave through the nation’s breadbasket and gain a better understanding of water issues and challenges in the San Joaquin Valley on the Foundation’s Central Valley Tour April 22-24

This tour visits farms and major infrastructure, such as Friant Dam near Fresno and San Luis Reservoir, the nation’s largest off-stream reservoir near Los Banos and a key water facility serving both the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.


Latest Western Water Examines Plan To Use Carbon Credits To Aid Delta Islands and Protect California’s Vital Water Hub
Article explores how carbon credits could offer incentives to convert Delta islands to wetlands or rice to halt subsidence and potentially raise island elevations

Equipment on this tower measures fluctuations in greenhouse gas emissions for managed wetlands on Sherman Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.The islands of the western Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta release tons of carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere as the rich peat soil that attracted generations of farmers dries out and decays.

An ambitious plan now in the works could halt the decay, sequester the carbon and — just as important — help protect California’s vital water conveyance system by offering farmers and landowners an incentive to change how they use their land. The latest article in Western Water explores how the plan would work, looks at the concerns of some in agriculture, and talks with one farmer who’s willing to give it a try.


Jennifer Harder and Brian Gray to Keynote Annual Anne Schneider Lecture
Free event focused on water law, policy & conservation to be held April 1 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento

Jennnifer Harder, an associate professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, will be one of two speakers at the Anne J. Schneider Lecture in Sacramento, Calif..  The 2020 Anne J. Schneider Lecture, which encourages professional and personal commitment to water law and policy and the conservation of our special landscapes, will feature two distinguished speakers: Jennifer Harder, an associate professor at the McGeorge School of Law, and Brian Gray, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center and professor emeritus at UC Hastings College of the Law.

Topock Gorge

Join Us on One of Three Water Tours Scheduled through June
Learn about the water issues up close on the Lower Colorado River, in the Central Valley and across the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Our tours are one of the best ways to learn about water issues in California and the West. You come face-to-face with infrastructure that moves water to cities, farms and wildlife refuges, hear directly from farmers, environmentalists and other stakeholders and understand the critical role water plays in sustaining life, growing food and maintaining wetlands and other water bodies for the environment.

Join us for one of these upcoming tours. Act fast! Early-bird prices are still available for the Central Valley and Bay-Delta tours.


Last Chance To Register For Water 101 Workshop Next Week In Sacramento
Feb. 20th workshop includes optional one-day tour the next day

There’s just one week left until our Water 101 workshop and optional tour! Register today for this once-a-year opportunity!

Attendees at the Feb. 20 workshop will hear from a variety of experts about important and current issues in California water management and policy, including the Delta, sustainable groundwater management, Gov. Newsom’s draft Water Resilience Portfolio, impacts to water resources from climate change and more.


New Experience Announced for Lower Colorado River Tour: Topock Gorge Boat Trip
Explore Natural Wonders and Ecological Challenges Firsthand March 11-13

For the first time, participants on the Foundation’s Lower Colorado River Tour will enjoy a scenic journey on the river through portions of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, including Topock Gorge and the Havasu Wilderness Area.

Seating is limited for the March 11-13 tour, so register here to ensure your spot!

Our annual Lower Colorado River tour explores the critical role the river’s water plays in the three Lower Basin states of Nevada, Arizona and California, and how it helps to sustain their cities, farms and wildlife areas.


Latest Western Water Article Explores Plan to Bring Climate Resilience to California Water With Nancy Vogel
Former journalist and veteran water communicator explains how portfolio came together and why it should matter to average Californians

Shortly after Gov. Gavin Newsom called on state agencies to deliver a Water Resilience Portfolio to meet California’s urgent challenges — from unsafe drinking water and climate change risks to severely depleted groundwater aquifers and declining native fish populations — he appointed Nancy Vogel, a former journalist and veteran water communicator, to pull it together.

In an interview with Western Water, Vogel explains how the draft portfolio released Jan. 3 came together, its expected role in helping to guide policy and investment decisions related to climate and water resilience — and why the portfolio should matter to average Californians.


Roster of Speakers, Draft Agenda Unveiled for Feb. 20 Water 101 Workshop & Next Day Tour
Just added: Optional screening of award-winning documentary 'The Sacramento: At Current Speed'

Learn from top experts at our annual Water 101 Workshop about the history, hydrology and law behind California water as well as hot topics such as the Delta, disadvantaged communities, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and climate change’s impacts to water resources.

This once-a-year workshop on Feb. 20 in Sacramento will include speakers such as:

Press release

Former California Natural Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman Elected Board President of Water Education Foundation
Celeste Cantú, former Reclamation Commissioner Bob Johnson hold key board posts; ACWA’s Dave Eggerton among new board members joining preeminent nonprofit focused on water education

Mike Chrisman, the new president of the Water Education Foundation’s board of directors, with Executive Director Jenn Bowles at the Foundation's 2018 Water Summit in Sacramento.SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Mike Chrisman, who served as California natural resources secretary for seven years under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was elected president of the Water Education Foundation’s board of directors. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Ira “Jack” Chrisman, who was the Foundation’s founding president in 1977.

“The Foundation is near and dear to my heart,” said Chrisman, who runs his family’s ranching and farming business in Tulare County. “My father and I both viewed his dedication to the Foundation as a true personal legacy and I’m proud to follow in his footsteps as board president.”

Hoover Dam

Traverse California and the Southwest to See Their Most Iconic Water Places
First major water tour of 2018 starts next week

Lake TahoeJoin us for one of our highly praised water tours as we visit such iconic places as Hoover Dam and the Salton Sea, the Northern California headwaters near sparkling Lake Tahoe and deep into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay. Each tour stop uncovers a wealth of knowledge about water issues and challenges, and plenty of questions for our expert speakers.

Discounted early bird registration is still available for all tours except the Central Valley Tour. Here’s a rundown of the upcoming tours:


Water 101 Workshop + Tour Quickly Approaching, Reserve Your Seat Today
Join us Feb. 20 & 21 in Sacramento to brush up or get a primer on California water basics

Our annual Water 101 workshop, set for Feb. 20 at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, is just three weeks away. This popular event offers attendees the chance to hear from experts on the basics of California water law, policy, hydrology and geography.

In addition to the workshop, attendees can also opt to join the second-day tour (Feb. 21) that will showcase innovative water projects and partnerships in the Sacramento region.

Scheduled tour stops & topics include:


2020 Water Leaders Class Examines Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources
Up-and-coming water professionals chosen for highly competitive program

Twenty-three early to mid-career water professionals from across California have been chosen for the 2019 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class, the Water Education Foundation’s highly competitive and respected career development program.

The class will spend the year examining how water management can respond to climate change in California and offer policy recommendations for adapting a water system built to collect snowmelt to one that can respond to more rain and longer droughts that result from a changing climate.