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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Foundation Unveils New Water Equity Page and Newsfeed, Publishes Disadvantaged Communities Handbook
Handbook aimed at helping with engagement to solve water problems

water faucet with a drip of waterIn California and across the West, some people face persistent challenges in trying to gain access to safe, reliable and affordable water to meet their everyday needs. In some cases, people are left without water as wells run dry during drought or they have no access at all to running water – a troubling deficit when hand washing is touted as necessary to protect against the coronavirus pandemic. Communities of color are most often burdened by these challenges.

Announcement Nick Gray

Join Your Favorite Tour Guide on a Virtual Journey of a Sierra Watershed
Aug. 6 Headwaters Tour includes exclusive screening and live Q&A with scientists, water managers and others

Our water tours are lauded because they are both fun and educational. You can still experience both Aug. 6 when your favorite tour guide Nick Gray takes you on a virtual journey across a Sierra watershed during our Headwaters Tour.


Registration Open for Virtual Journey of Sierra Watershed
Join us Aug. 6 for an exclusive screening and live Q&A with scientists, water managers and others

The American River Registration is now open for our virtual Headwaters Tour with an exclusive screening of a video that takes viewers on a journey across the upper watershed of a major Sierra-fed river to learn the important role forests play in California’s water supply.

You’ll go to the crest of the Sierras to learn how the state measures snowpack, to a meadow restoration deep in the forest and along the American River in the foothills where water is diverted for homes. 


Follow Us on New Instagram Page, Other Social Media Channels
Posts keep you up-to-date on water news, events and issues critical to water in California and across the West

Instagram iconFollow us on social media channels, including a just-launched Instagram page to learn about issues key to understanding water and what the Water Education Foundation is up to.

We regularly post on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Now we are hosting an Instagram page to cast a wider net in our efforts to educate the public about critical water resource information.


Latest Western Water Examines State’s Effort to Preserve Salton Sea, California’s Largest Lake
Dust suppression, habitat are key elements in long-term plan to aid sea, whose ills have been a sore point in Colorado River management

Birds gather at Red Hill Bay in the southern end of the Salton Sea.The Salton Sea in California’s far southeast corner has challenged policymakers and local agencies alike to save the desert lake – a vital stopover for migrating birds – from becoming a fetid, hyper-saline water body inhospitable to wildlife and surrounded by clouds of lung-choking dust.

The state of California, long derided for its failure to act in the past, says it is now moving full-bore to address the sea’s problems, with ambitious plans for wildlife habitat expansion and dust suppression.

The latest article in Western Water examines the state’s efforts, the longstanding concerns of people living and working around the Salton Sea and how those concerns are affecting Colorado River management. 


Headwaters Tour of Sierra Watershed Transitions to Virtual Journey
Join us Aug. 6 for an exclusive screening and live Q&A with speakers

Behind the scenes with the Foundation team capturing video for the tourOur Headwaters Tour is going virtual next month with an exclusive screening of a video that takes viewers across the upper watershed of a major Sierra-fed river to learn the important role forests play in California’s water supply.

You’ll go to the crest of the Sierras to learn how the state measures snowpack, to a meadow restoration deep in the forest and along the American River in the foothills where water is diverted for homes. 


Updated Layperson’s Guide Explores Vital Role Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Plays For State’s Water, Ecology & Farms
Newly updated, the tenth edition of the Guide offers a "mini-textbook" to history, key issues and challenges

Our popular Layperson’s Guide to the Delta has just been updated to reflect the latest information about efforts to reconcile ecosystem needs of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with its role as California’s vital water delivery hub as well as its place as an important agricultural region and a popular recreation destination.

The Delta is the largest freshwater tidal estuary on the West Coast and is a unique resource and distinct feature of Northern California’s landscape. The water that flows through the Delta provides a significant portion of drinking water for more than 29 million Californians, serves a $50 billion agricultural industry, is home to native and nonnative plants and animals and is a crucial part of the state’s two largest surface water delivery systems – the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.


Water Leaders Alumni: Stay In Touch With Each Other and The Foundation
Join LinkedIn alumni group for networking, program news and more!

Since 1997, more than 430 engineers, farmers, environmentalists, lawyers, and others have graduated from our William R. Gianelli Water Leaders program. We’ve developed a new alumni network webpage to help program participants connect and keep in touch.


Learn More About Key Upper Colorado River Basin Water Manager in Latest Western Water Q&A
Meet Becky Mitchell of Colorado, the headwaters state for a major water source for California

Becky Mitchell, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.Colorado is home to the headwaters of the Colorado River and the water policy decisions made in the Centennial State reverberate throughout the river’s sprawling basin that stretches south to California, Arizona and Mexico.

The task of working with interstate partners to address the challenges of the Colorado River Basin while balancing competing water demands within the state of Colorado rests largely with Becky Mitchell, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

In the latest article in Western Water, Mitchell talked about her state’s plan to address an expected water supply shortfall, climate risks and the prospects for future Colorado River operations as the river system deals with prolonged drought.


Join Online Groundwater Short Course Starting May 21st
See our events calendar for details & register today!

An online short course starting Thursday will provide registrants the opportunity to learn more about how groundwater is monitored, assessed and sustainably managed.

The class, offered by UC Davis and several other organizations in cooperation with the Water Education Foundation, will be held May 21 and 28, June 4, 18, and 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.


Latest Western Water Article Examines Simmering Questions For Lake Powell As Drought, Climate Change Point To A Drier Colorado River
Powell faces demands from stakeholders in Upper and Lower Basins with different water needs as runoff is forecast to decline

Sprawled across a desert expanse along the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell’s 100-foot high bathtub ring etched on its sandstone walls belie the challenges of a major Colorado River reservoir at less than half-full. 

Recent studies point to warmer and drier conditions ahead, with reduced runoff into the Colorado River. Meanwhile, the Upper Basin is looking to use more of its share of the river’s waters. On the horizon is a rewrite of the operating guidelines for the river, and already there is talk about how changes to those guidelines could affect Lake Powell, a key reservoir in the Colorado River system.

The latest article in Western Water explores the different concerns being raised around the Colorado River Basin and how the river’s challenges could play out in Powell’s future.


Tap Into Special News Feed for Water-Related Articles Involving COVID-19
News feed part of daily Aquafornia aggregation that keeps you updated on water issues in California and the West

Our daily news aggregation known as Aquafornia keeps you up-to-date on the most pressing water issues in California and across the West.

Now, it features a special COVID-19 news feed where you can find articles related to coronavirus and water, such as efforts to get federal funding to help struggling ratepayers, tracking the virus through wastewater and addressing water systems as people head back to work.


Today on Big Day of Giving Consider Supporting Your Favorite Water Nonprofit
And join us tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Twitter & Facebook for water trivia, vie for prizes

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Water Education Foundation,

Members of our staff gather for a quick photo during the Foundation's Bay-Delta Tour.At the Water Education Foundation, we focus on telling the complex story of water in California and the West because of its critical role in sustaining our lives, growing our food and nourishing our environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of water even more – in fighting the virus by washing hands and tracking its movement through wastewater.


Join Us Thursday for Virtual Water Trivia
Have fun and support water education on Big Day of Giving

To celebrate the Big Day of Giving, the Water Education Foundation is hosting virtual water trivia this Thursday on our social media channels, and we invite you to join in the fun.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. PDT May 7, Programs Manager Nick Gray will host three short water trivia rounds live on Facebook and via posts on Twitter. We hope you will join us to show off your water knowledge and have a chance at winning prizes. Check out more details here


Special COVID-19 Webpage Now Includes Newsfeed for Water-Related Coronavirus Articles
Page also explains tap water safety, flushing protocols and offers online water lesson ideas

Our special COVID-19 webpage dedicated to providing ideas for teaching online or at home now includes a newsfeed where you can find the latest coronavirus-related water news.

To access the latest COVID-19 water news, click on our special page and scroll down to Stay in the Know.


Our 2020 Tours and Events Schedule Has Been Updated to Keep Everyone Healthy
Save the dates for our annual Water Summit and rescheduled Bay-Delta & Headwaters tours

In response to updated COVID-19 public health guidelines, the Water Education Foundation has further adjusted our 2020 in-person programming schedule to ensure the safety and health of our partners, event attendees and staff.


The Foundation Offers Resources for Teaching Online or at Home and Other COVID-19 Water-Related Updates

The coronavirus pandemic has upended daily routines for many parents, teachers, water professionals and others. For parents and teachers, the challenge is keeping children engaged in their education despite school closures. For others, the challenge may be keeping up with water news while working remotely. 

For those looking for information about water in California and the West, the Water Education Foundation continues to provide a variety of resources, as well as updates and new information online related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Water Education Foundation Updates 2020 In-Person Programming Schedule
Save the dates for our annual Water Summit and rescheduled Central Valley Tour

The Water Education Foundation appreciates your understanding as we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments and adjust our 2020 programming to ensure the safety and health of our partners, event attendees and staff.

With that said, our 2020 Water Summit is still on for Sept. 24 in Sacramento, so save the date! Our annual premier event will feature key policymakers, stakeholders and experts providing the latest information and viewpoints on issues affecting water across California and the West.


Join Us May 7 for a Virtual Open House on Big Day of Giving
Learn about the various ways the Foundation is serving our mission and delivering programs through COVID-19 to foster public understanding about water

Join us May 7 for a “virtual” open house to learn more about how we are educating and fostering understanding of California’s most precious natural resource - water – through the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the open house, you can chat with our staff about our water tours, conferences, maps, publications, and training programs for teachers and up-and-coming water industry professionals. You’ll also be able to learn more about how you can support our work.

Announcement Jenn Bowles

Bidding Adieu to a Giant in the California Water World
Bill Gianelli paved the way for generations of water leaders

Last week, we lost a giant in the California water world. 

Bill Gianelli wasn’t just a director of the state’s Department of Water Resources, he was a key founding figure of the Water Education Foundation.

In the 1990s he left an endowment to help launch our Water Leaders program. Today there are more than 400 graduates across California and beyond.