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.
“Facing Reality from the Headwaters
to the Delta” will be the theme of this year’s Water Summit, featuring top
policymakers and others sharing the latest information on key
issues affecting water in California and the Southwest.
The day-long event on Sept. 20 is the Water Education
Foundation’s premiere event of the year. It will be held at the
Westin Sacramento. Look for more details and speaker
announcements coming soon!
In the meantime, join Nutrien
Ag Solutions in securing a sponsorship opportunity and
gaining publicity for your organization by sponsoring lunch
or the evening reception along the beautiful Sacramento River.
Learn about all the sponsorship opportunities
here. Contact Kasey Chong
via email or at 916-812-2643 with any questions.
As California embarks on its
unprecedented mission to harness groundwater pumping, the Arizona
desert may provide one guide that local managers can look to as
they seek to arrest years of overdraft.
Groundwater is stressed by a demand that often outpaces natural
and artificial recharge. In California, awareness of
groundwater’s importance resulted in the landmark Sustainable
Groundwater Management Act in 2014 that aims to have the most
severely depleted basins in a state of balance in about 20 years.
Water supply for
California’s cities and farms is largely dependent on
snowmelt from the upper watershed in the Sierra Nevada. But that
paradigm is being challenged by wildfires, climate change and
widespread tree mortality.
Join us for a two-day tour as we head into the Sierra foothills
and up into the mountains to examine water issues that happen
upstream, but have dramatic impacts on water supply and quality
downstream and throughout the state.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is
the West Coast’s largest estuary and a vital hub in California’s
complex water delivery system. It’s also a rich farming area, an
important wetlands – and an ecologically troubled region.
On our Bay-Delta Tour, May
16-18, participants will hear from a diverse group of
experts, including water managers, environmentalists, farmers,
engineers and scientists who will offer different perspectives on
the proposed tunnels project, efforts to revitalize the Delta,
and risks that threaten its delicate ecological balance. The
controversial tunnels project, which would carry water beneath
the Delta, got a boost recently when Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California
voted to cover nearly $11 billion of the construction
Join our team at the Water Education
Foundation, an impartial nonprofit in midtown Sacramento that has
been a trusted source of water news and educational programs in
California and across the West for more than 40 years.
We have a full-time opening for an energetic, motivated,
articulate and detail-oriented Programs Manager who serves
as a member of the Foundation’s events team while focusing
on one of its most popular programs – water tours.
Spurred by drought and a major
policy shift, groundwater management has assumed an unprecedented
mantle of importance in California. Local agencies in the
hardest-hit areas of groundwater depletion are drawing plans to
halt overdraft and bring stressed aquifers toward recovery. Along
the way, an army of experts has been enlisted to help
characterize the extent of the problem and how the Sustainable
Groundwater Management Act of 2014 is implemented.
One of those policy experts is Michael Kiparsky, director of the
Wheeler Water Institute within the Center for Law, Energy & the
Environment at the University of California, Berkeley, School of
Law. Kiparsky recently co-authored a report that focuses on a
pilot project in Santa Cruz County’s Pajaro Valley that he
says has intriguing potential for broader applicability.
The Water Education Foundation has been around in California for
more than 40 years! Have you ever been curious about our Water
Leaders program, our tours or workshops, and Western
Join us for a reception at our midtown Sacramento office from
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 3 to meet the staff, enjoy refreshments and
check out what we do. Sign up
here for the open house so we have a head count.
One of the most frequently discussed
animals in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is fish. From the
anadromous life cycle of the salmon to the controversial and
little-understood Delta smelt to invasive species such as the
largemouth bass, few animals have a larger impact on water policy
and infrastructure in the Delta than the dozens of native and
introduced fish found there, especially those species considered
On our annual Bay-Delta
Tour, May 16-18, you will spend three days immersed in
water-related topics, and among them is fish. Most notable is the
endangered Delta smelt, whose protections have at times halted
the pumps that send water from the Delta to the San Joaquin
Valley and Southern California.
Stop by our midtown Sacramento
office Thursday afternoon, May 3, to learn what we do to educate
and foster public understanding of one of California’s most
precious natural resources — water — and see how you can
support our work.
Join us for an open house and reception at our office from
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to meet the staff, enjoy refreshments and check
out what we do. We’ll have local wines as well as beer donated by
Sacramento’s Track 7 Brewing Company. Sign up
here for the open house so we have a head count.