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 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.


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: