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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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.


Upcoming tours, Water Leader applications due, Water 101, Int’l Groundwater Conference and more

We still have a few water tours left this fall and are gearing up for some must-attend events in 2016. Take a look and register today!

Northern California Tour: Oct. 21-23, 2015

This 3-day, 2-night tour travels the length of the Sacramento Valley, a major source of water for California. Stops include Oroville and Shasta dams, Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project, Feather River Fish Hatchery, Clear Creek restoration site and more.

Click here for more information and to register.


Itinerary Posted for Oct. 8-9 SoCal Tour
Water recycling, groundwater management and key infrastructure on tap

Join us as we explore a major hub of Southern California’s water supply where we’ll see water recycling facilities, Metropolitan Water District’s massive reservoir and see how wetlands play a role in Orange County’s water supply.

Click here to see an itinerary of the Oct. 8-9 Southern California Tour. Some of the highlights on the tour include:


See State-Of-The-Art Water Conservation Facility during Oct. 8-9 SoCal Tour

As part of our upcoming Southern California Tour, we will be visiting a state-of-the-art low-impact development and water conservation facility at Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District in Riverside.

The facility, which updated the District’s parking lot and grounds, includes:


Application Form for 2016 Water Leaders Class Now Available

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Water Leaders Class, a yearlong program that educates young professionals from diverse backgrounds about water issues and leadership. The deadline to apply is Dec. 7, 2015. The class begins January 2016.


The Latest Issue of River Report is Now Available
Issue looks at the Moving Forward Report and reaching a reliable supply on the Colorado River

Squaring a projected imbalance between the water supply and demand of the Colorado River hinges in part on further advances in agricultural and municipal water use efficiency, according to a report produced earlier this year by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Colorado River Basin states and numerous stakeholders.

Water Education Foundation Writer Gary Pitzer explores “Reaching Reliable Supply on the Colorado River: The Moving Forward Report” in the recently published Summer 2015 edition of River Report.


Southern California Tour to Showcase Innovations
Dinner to be held at winery where we'll hear a grape grower discuss water issues

Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) in Chino on our upcoming Southern California Tour, Oct. 8-9.

A leader in recycled water, groundwater management and generating renewable energy to power its treatment plants, IEUA will kick off our tour at its headquarters, which was the first and largest public building to receive the Platinum rating from the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) in 2003.


Groundwater Management in the Spotlight on Upcoming Tour
September 24-25 draft tour intinerary available; stops include Folsom Lake, Napa winery and much more

Passage of the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act has put an unseen resource into public view as regions throughout the state undertake the next step – implementation. During our Groundwater Tour, you will learn what actions water leaders in the Sacramento, Yolo, Solano and Napa regions are taking to monitor and manage this valuable resource during this critical drought and into the future.

Check out the full draft itinerary here. Experts from USGS, UC Davis, DWR and regional agencies will discuss groundwater pollution, the surface water-groundwater connection and the important role of groundwater for city supplies and for agriculture – including vineyards, dairies and more .


Join Us As We Explore SoCal Water Hub Oct. 8-9
And check out our other fall tours

Join us as we venture into Inland Southern California, a major hub of the region’s water operations where both the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project bring imported water.

But while much of the region depends on imported supplies, it is also blessed with ample groundwater and has strived in many cases to make every drop count through water recycling and other innovative means. Learn about this on our Southern California Tour, as we travel from Ontario to the Temecula wine country to see how the region has sought to implement drought-proofing measures.


Join Us on our September 24-25 Groundwater Tour

Groundwater overdraft, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and groundwater’s importance during a drought are all headline issues across California that will be discussed on our upcoming Groundwater Tour.

As we travel from the Sacramento region to the Napa wine country, we will discuss aquifer recharge, storage and water recycling, well drilling, groundwater use for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses and groundwater contamination in disadvantaged communities.

Our tentative itinerary includes:


Hear about water recycling, drought-proofing efforts during SoCal Tour

Join us October 8-9 for a two-day, one-night tour of Inland Southern California to see how the region has become a leader in managing groundwater, recycling water and promoting drought-tolerant landscapes.

We’ll also visit Diamond Valley Lake, the large reservoir operated by Metropolitan Water District, the Temecula wine country, wetlands along the Santa Ana River and Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District’s low-impact development facility, which shows ways to build water-wise features.


Learn the Basics and Beyond at Water 101 Workshop

As drought and groundwater issues continue to dominate headlines, gain a deeper understanding of the key issues associated with the life-sustaining resource at our popular Water 101 Workshop.

Leading policymakers and experts will serve as the teachers of this 1-1/2 day workshop on Feb. 4-5 at the West Sacramento City Hall.