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Land subsidence caused by groundwater pumping has been a problem for decades in the San Joaquin Valley, but an increased reliance on aquifers during the last decade has resulted in subsidence rates of more than one foot per year in some parts of the region.
While subsidence was minimal in 2017 due to one of the wettest years on record, any return to dry conditions would likely set the stage for subsidence to resume as the region relies more heavily on groundwater than surface water. Land subsidence not only has the potential to shrink aquifers, but it puts state and federal aqueducts and flood control structures at risk of damage.
Amy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Yet those challenges will be quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who has a long history of working within interstate Colorado River governance. As the commission’s executive director, Haas is likely to play a major role in helping to address changing hydrologic conditions that result in a drier climate and less water for the Colorado, drought planning and ongoing water conservation efforts, as well as tribal water rights among Native Americans and their impact throughout the Colorado River Basin. These issues have implications throughout the Colorado River drainage.
Scientist Daniel Swain will address climate whiplash and the challenging road ahead for Western water managers during a morning keynote address Sept. 20 at the Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit in Sacramento.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are the two major Central Valley waterways that feed the Delta, the hub of California’s water supply network. Our last water tours of 2018 will look in-depth at how these rivers are managed and used for agriculture, cities and the environment. You’ll see infrastructure, learn about efforts to restore salmon runs and talk to people with expertise on these rivers.
California’s mountain forests are the source of 60% of the state’s developed water, but they’re under siege from climate change, drought, bark beetles and catastrophic wildfire, including the latest fire sweeping toward Yosemite National Park.
At the Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit Sept. 20 in Sacramento, a panel of experts will address the breadth of challenges facing the state’s headwaters, some key scientific research on the forests and potential solutions.
Today is Colorado River Day, the anniversary of when the Grand River was renamed the Colorado River, extending the name to the Colorado’s headwaters in 1921. To mark the anniversary, we’re offering a 20% discount on our Colorado River map, Layperson’s Guides and other Colorado River educational materials.
This special sale is only today, Wednesday, July 25. Use the promo code COLORADORIVERDAY at checkout to get your 20% discount.
Get an up-close look at some of California’s key water reservoirs and learn about farming operations, habitat restoration, flood management and wetlands in the Sacramento Valley on our Northern California Water Tour Oct. 10-12.
Each year, participants on the Northern California Water Tour enjoy three days exploring the Sacramento Valley during the temperate fall. Join us as we travel through a scenic landscape along the Sacramento and Feather rivers to learn about issues associated with storing and delivering the state’s water supply.
Wednesday is Colorado River Day, the anniversary of when, in 1921, the Grand River was renamed the Colorado River, extending the name to the Colorado’s headwaters. To mark the occasion, we’re offering a 20% discount on our Colorado River map, Layperson’s Guides and other Colorado River educational materials.
Don’t miss out! This special sale is one day only, on Wednesday, July 25. Use the promo code COLORADORIVERDAY at checkout to get your 20% discount.
Controversial flow requirements for the lower San Joaquin River designed to meet ecological needs of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will be among the topics addressed during the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento.
The Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit, Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta, will feature panels on the Delta, the Sierra Nevada headwaters and the state’s human right to water law. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman will be the keynote speaker at lunch.
The Water Education Foundation’s just-released 2017 Annual Report takes readers along to see the array of educational events, trainings and publications we produced last year to create a better understanding of water resources in California and the Southwest.
Marking its 40th anniversary in 2017, the Foundation’s annual report recaps its efforts for the year in words and photos.
Those efforts include workshops and conferences, its invitation-only Colorado River Symposium, its tours of critical watersheds in California and along the lower Colorado River, Project WET’s teacher training programs, the Foundation’s popular poster-size water maps and Layperson’s Guides on climate change, groundwater and the Colorado River Delta, and its flagship publication, Western Water.
Jennifer Bowles, executive director of the Water Education Foundation, will speak on a panel about the media during the 25th Annual Urban Water Institute’s conference in San Diego Aug 22-24.
Bowles, a veteran journalist and executive editor of the Foundation’s Western Water news, will join other media representatives, including Ry Rivard of the Voice of San Diego, to discuss Working with the Media in Changing Times. Former Foundation Executive Director Rita Schmidt Sudman, author of Water More or Less, will moderate. See the draft agenda here.
It’s high-stakes time in Arizona. The state that is first in line to absorb a shortage on the Colorado River is seeking a unified approach for water supply management to join its Lower Basin neighbors, California and Nevada, in a coordinated plan to preserve water levels in Lake Mead before they run too low.
If the lake’s elevation falls below 1,075 feet above sea level, the secretary of the Interior would declare a shortage and Arizona’s deliveries of Colorado River water — water that helps feed its farms and cities — would be reduced by 320,000 acre-feet — enough, Arizona says, to supply about 1 million households a year.
Our Headwaters Tour later this month now includes a stop at the University of California, Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station, a Sierra Nevada research and training facility where we’ll learn about forest ecology research and a forest restoration project.
For more than 100 years, invasive species have made the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta their home, disrupting the ecosystem and costing millions of dollars annually in remediation.
The latest invader is the nutria, a large rodent native to South America that causes concern because of its propensity to devour every bit of vegetation in sight and destabilize levees by burrowing into them. Wildlife officials are trapping the animal and trying to learn the extent of its infestation.
The Sierra Nevada mountains, which are key to California’s water supply through snowmelt, are dotted with nearly 130 million dead trees weakened by drought and insect infestations.
The severe tree mortality has increased the risk of devastating wildfires, reduced the ability of forests to absorb greenhouse gases and limited the effectiveness of forests and meadows to regulate water quality and moderate downhill flow. While the 2012-2016 drought was one leading cause of tree mortality in California, the dry conditions also exacerbated tree infestations from more than a half-dozen different bark beetles.
On our Headwaters Tour, June 28-29, guests will hear from leading forest managers and entomologists about the extent of this epidemic, how it is altering forests and impacting upper watersheds, and what can be done to mitigate the damages.