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! 

Sign up here to get announcements sent to your inbox.


Water Leaders Deadline Nears; Few Seats Open for Next Week’s Central Coast Tour; Registration Opens for 2020 Events, Including Water 101
Water Leaders applications due Dec. 9; Popular Water 101 Workshop will include optional innovation tour

Members of our 2019 Water Leaders class gather on the deck of a ferry crossing San Francisco Bay during our Bay Delta Tour in June. The deadline is nearing to apply for our highly sought-after Water Leaders program for early to mid-career water professionals, and registration is now open for two popular events in 2020: our Water 101 Workshop and Lower Colorado River Tour.

The yearlong Water Leaders class is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of California water issues and building leadership skills with class members attending water tours, studying a water-related topic in-depth and working with a mentor.


Central Coast Tour Explores Solutions to Water Resource Challenges That Offer Lessons for California
Nov. 6-7 trip highlights dam removal, river restoration, airborne mapping, desalination, water recycling & groundwater management

Monterey Bay coastlineFrom the technology hub of San Jose to the coastal enclave of Monterey and from the productive agriculture of the Salinas Valley to the rolling vineyards of Paso Robles, participants on our Central Coast Tour Nov. 6-7 will learn about efforts by water users to achieve sustainability in a region grappling with limited local water supplies.


Explore Airborne Mapping of Seawater Intrusion on Central Coast Tour November 6-7
Efforts to combat potentially irreversible contamination of water supply along Monterey Bay highlighted on tour that starts in San Jose

The sustainable management of groundwater is an important issue across California, but water users along the coast also must deal with seawater intrusion when their basins become imbalanced. Learn how one water district is working to quantify the problem and address it on our Central Coast Tour Nov. 6-7.


Latest Western Water Explores Potential For Managed Aquifer Recharge To Aid California’s Groundwater Basins

Groundwater recharge basin in California's Coachella Valley.To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

A UC Berkeley symposium in which water managers and others from across the West assessed the opportunities and challenges of improving troubled aquifers through managed aquifer recharge is the focus of our latest article in Western Water, our flagship publication. 


Agenda Posted for Oct. 30 Water Summit; Join the Waitlist!
Keynote speakers include California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot and Scripps Atmospheric River Researcher Marty Ralph

A diverse roster of top policymakers and water experts are on the agenda for the Foundation’s 36th annual Water Summit. The conference, Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning, will feature compelling conversations reflecting on upcoming regulatory deadlines and efforts to improve water management and policy in the face of natural disasters.

Tickets for the Water Summit are sold out, but by joining the waitlist we can let you know when spaces open via cancellations.


Central Coast Tour Highlights Dam Removal & River Restoration, Ocean Desal and Innovative Recycling Project Using Ag Runoff
Variety of water projects and programs aimed at water sustainability explored Nov. 6-7; tour starts in San Jose with overnight in Paso Robles

Our last tour of 2019 is all new and will journey through a region grappling with limited local water supplies. Solutions to issues surrounding urban, agricultural and environmental water use on the scenic Central Coast involve potential lessons for all of California.


Put Your Feet on the Ground Where a Dam Once Stood During Central Coast Tour November 6-7
San Clemente Dam project among sustainability efforts highlighted on scenic Central Coast; Early bird pricing ends October 7

San Clemente Dam site in Carmel Valley, California.Get a firsthand look at a completed dam removal project near Monterey on our Central Coast Tour Nov. 6-7. The removal of San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River in 2015 was the largest project of its kind in California, and lessons learned from it are being applied to other projects across the state and the nation.

Although safety concerns from sediment buildup and seismic activity were the primary drivers for the dam’s removal, it also opened up miles of spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead on the Carmel River that had been blocked for nearly 100 years.


Water Summit Panel to Focus on Nexus of Fire and Water in the Wildland-Urban Interface
Oct. 30 Event Will Feature the Latest on Policy, Planning and Management from Key Stakeholders, Experts

California experienced one of the most deadly and destructive wildfire years on record in 2018, with several major fires occurring in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). These areas, where communities are in close proximity to undeveloped land at high risk of wildfire, have felt devastating effects of these disasters, including direct impacts to water infrastructure and supplies.

One panel at our 2019 Water Summit Oct. 30 in Sacramento will feature speakers from water agencies who came face-to-face with two major fires: The Camp Fire that destroyed most of the town of Paradise in Northern California, and the Woolsey Fire in the Southern California coastal mountains. They’ll talk about their experiences and what lessons they learned. 


Applications for 2020 Water Leaders Class Now Available
Apply by Dec. 9 for program that promotes a deeper understanding of statewide water issues

Water Leaders program for early to mid-career water professionalsApplications are now available for our yearlong Water Leaders class.

One of our most popular programs, the Water Leaders class is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of California water issues and building leadership skills with class members attending water tours, studying a water-related topic in-depth and working with a mentor. 


Scripps Scientist Marty Ralph to Discuss Atmospheric Rivers in Opening Keynote at Water Summit
Early bird pricing ends today for the 2019 Water Summit “Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning"

Oroville Dam spillway emergencyAtmospheric rivers, the narrow bands of moisture that ferry precipitation across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast, are necessary to keep California’s water reservoirs full.

However, some of them are dangerous because the extreme rainfall and wind can cause catastrophic flooding and damage, much like what happened in 2017 with Oroville Dam’s spillway.

Learn the latest about atmospheric river research and forecasting at our 2019 Water Summit on Oct. 30 in Sacramento, where prominent research meteorologist Marty Ralph will give the opening keynote.


Floodplain Restoration Along the Sacramento River Highlighted on NorCal Tour
Only a few tickets left for Oct. 2-4 tour to see habitat improvements, farmland and major infrastructure

Roger Cornwell, general manager of River Garden Farms, with an example of a salmon refuge. A multiphased project to remove a levee along the Sacramento River north of Sacramento and restore hundreds of acres of floodplains to reconnect to the river is now underway.

Participants on our Northern California Tour Oct. 2-4 will visit the site of the restoration project near Hamilton City led by River Partners. The project also involves the construction of a setback levee to provide more reliable flood protection to the community and agricultural areas along the river.


Learn About Sustainability Efforts That Could Help Across California on Central Coast Tour November 6-7
Final 2019 tour explores water issues in scenic Central Coast; tour starts and ends in San Jose

Monterey BayThe Foundation’s final tour of 2019 is all new and will highlight urban, agricultural and environmental water use on California’s scenic Central Coast, traveling from the technology hub of Silicon Valley’s San Jose to the coastal enclave of Monterey and to the wine country of Paso Robles.

Participants on our Nov. 6-7 Central Coast Tour will learn about the challenges of a region struggling to be sustainable with limited local supplies and the efforts to address them.


New Developments Highlighted During Visits to Shasta and Oroville Dams on Northern California Tour October 2-4
Reserve your spot now on our two remaining 2019 tours, including the Central Coast Tour November 6-7

Shasta Dam powerplantParticipants on our Northern California Tour Oct. 2-4 will get updates on changes planned or completed at key dams that anchor California’s two major water delivery projects — Shasta Dam and Oroville Dam. 

The tour will visit Shasta Dam, keystone of the federal Central Valley Project, for a firsthand look at plans to raise the height of the structure and increase storage capacity, and hear from some who oppose the expansion. A tour of the Shasta Powerplant and a houseboat outing on Shasta Lake, already California’s largest reservoir, are also part of the tour.


Oct. 30 Water Summit to Feature Panel About Key Groundwater Issues as SGMA Deadline Approaches
Attend and learn how water managers are working toward sustainable groundwater management in California

With a key deadline for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in January, one of the featured panels at our Oct. 30th  Water Summit will focus on how regions around California are crafting groundwater sustainability plans and working on innovative ways to fill aquifers.

The theme for this year’s Water Summit, “Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning,” reflects critical upcoming events in California water, including the imminent Jan. 31, 2020 deadline for groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) in high- and medium-priority basins.


Northern California Tour to Include Update on Camp Fire Impacts to Paradise Water System
Paradise Irrigation District general manager will discuss the challenges to recovery on Oct. 2-4 tour

The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history had a severe impact on the water system in the town of Paradise. Participants on our Oct. 2-4 Northern California Tour will hear from Kevin Phillips, general manager of Paradise Irrigation District, on the scope of the damages, the obstacles to recovery and the future of the water district.

The Camp Fire destroyed 90 percent of the structures in Paradise, and 90 percent of the irrigation district’s ratepayer base. The fire did not destroy the irrigation district’s water storage or treatment facilities, but it did melt plastic pipes, releasing contaminants into parts of the system and prompting do-not-drink advisories to water customers.


Save The Dates For Next Year’s Water 101 Workshop and Lower Colorado River Tour
Applications for 2020 Water Leaders class will be available by the first week of October

Dates are now set for two key Foundation events to kick off 2020 — our popular Water 101 Workshop, scheduled for Feb. 20 at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, and our Lower Colorado River Tour, which will run from March 11-13.

In addition, applications will be available by the first week of October for our 2020 class of Water Leaders, our competitive yearlong program for early to mid-career up-and-coming water professionals. To learn more about the program, check out our Water Leaders program page.


FLASH SALE: Save 50% Today Only On Book That Chronicles Water’s Role in Shaping California
Celebrate the Golden State's admission to the Union with special discount on 'Water & the Shaping of California' picture book

Book cover: Water & the Shaping of CaliforniaHere’s a golden deal to celebrate today’s anniversary of California’s 1850 admission into the Union: Get 50 percent off the paperback Water & the Shaping of California, a treasure trove of gorgeous color photos, water literature and famous sayings about water.

This beautifully designed oversize book discusses the engineering feats, political decisions and popular opinion that reshaped the nature – flood and drought – and society – gold, grain and growth – that led to the water projects that created the California we know today.

The book includes a foreword by the late Kevin Starr, the Golden State’s premier historian.


California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot to be Keynote Speaker at Water Summit
Join us for our premier annual event Oct. 30 in Sacramento; sponsorship opportunities now available

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, a key player in carrying out Gov. Gavin Newsom’s water priorities, will give the keynote address at the 2019 Water Summit on Oct. 30 in Sacramento.

Now in its 36th year, the Water Summit features a variety of policymakers, experts and stakeholders discussing important topics in water across California and the West. This year’s theme is “Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning.” Click here to register before prices go up on Sept. 26th. Foundation contributors of $100 or more should choose the discounted price. Or you can become a contributor and get the discount right away.


Executive Director Jenn Bowles Stresses Importance of Impartiality in Foundation’s Work
In talk+water podcast, Bowles explains Foundation's role as source of water news, tours, workshops and other key programs

Executive Director Jennifer Bowles stressed the importance of impartiality — a value she has embraced throughout her journalism career — in explaining the Water Education Foundation’s role as a source of water news and information in California and the West during a podcast interview published last week.

During the Talk+Water podcast by the Texas + Water newsletter, Bowles talked about  serving as executive editor of the Foundation’s flagship publication, Western Water, whose most recent article explored how private capital is speeding up forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada that could benefit water quality and supplies. 


Northern California Tour Explores Water Resources Across Sacramento Valley to Shasta Dam
Examine state and federal water projects key to California's urban and agricultural supplies on Oct. 2-4 tour

Get an up-close look at some of California’s key water reservoirs and learn about farming operations, salmon habitat restoration, flood management and wetlands on our Northern California Water Tour Oct. 2-4.

Each year, participants on the 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.