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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.