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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Water Education Foundation Programming Subject to Change in Response to COVID-19
Learn how to reach us via email as we work remotely

In light of recent developments regarding COVID-19, we wanted to reach out and provide an update on our 2020 programming schedule.

The Water Education Foundation is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments, which have created uncertainty for us all. And just like every organization, we are unsure how this will play out, for how long and how it will affect our upcoming in-person programming.

What is clear is the seriousness of this rapidly spreading virus. Thus, we are taking the following steps:


San Joaquin Valley’s Water Issues and Challenges Explored on Central Valley Tour April 22-24
Early-bird tickets end March 11 for this tour that visits dams, water projects, farms, wildlife areas and more on educational trek through valley

Farmer Joe Del Bosque talks with Central Valley Tour participants during a stop at his orchard. Weave through the nation’s breadbasket and gain a better understanding of water issues and challenges in the San Joaquin Valley on the Foundation’s Central Valley Tour April 22-24

This tour visits farms and major infrastructure, such as Friant Dam near Fresno and San Luis Reservoir, the nation’s largest off-stream reservoir near Los Banos and a key water facility serving both the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.


Latest Western Water Examines Plan To Use Carbon Credits To Aid Delta Islands and Protect California’s Vital Water Hub
Article explores how carbon credits could offer incentives to convert Delta islands to wetlands or rice to halt subsidence and potentially raise island elevations

Equipment on this tower measures fluctuations in greenhouse gas emissions for managed wetlands on Sherman Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.The islands of the western Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta release tons of carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere as the rich peat soil that attracted generations of farmers dries out and decays.

An ambitious plan now in the works could halt the decay, sequester the carbon and — just as important — help protect California’s vital water conveyance system by offering farmers and landowners an incentive to change how they use their land. The latest article in Western Water explores how the plan would work, looks at the concerns of some in agriculture, and talks with one farmer who’s willing to give it a try.


Jennifer Harder and Brian Gray to Keynote Annual Anne Schneider Lecture
Free event focused on water law, policy & conservation to be held April 1 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento

Jennnifer Harder, an associate professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, will be one of two speakers at the Anne J. Schneider Lecture in Sacramento, Calif..  The 2020 Anne J. Schneider Lecture, which encourages professional and personal commitment to water law and policy and the conservation of our special landscapes, will feature two distinguished speakers: Jennifer Harder, an associate professor at the McGeorge School of Law, and Brian Gray, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center and professor emeritus at UC Hastings College of the Law.

Topock Gorge

Join Us on One of Three Water Tours Scheduled through June
Learn about the water issues up close on the Lower Colorado River, in the Central Valley and across the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Our tours are one of the best ways to learn about water issues in California and the West. You come face-to-face with infrastructure that moves water to cities, farms and wildlife refuges, hear directly from farmers, environmentalists and other stakeholders and understand the critical role water plays in sustaining life, growing food and maintaining wetlands and other water bodies for the environment.

Join us for one of these upcoming tours. Act fast! Early-bird prices are still available for the Central Valley and Bay-Delta tours.


Last Chance To Register For Water 101 Workshop Next Week In Sacramento
Feb. 20th workshop includes optional one-day tour the next day

There’s just one week left until our Water 101 workshop and optional tour! Register today for this once-a-year opportunity!

Attendees at the Feb. 20 workshop will hear from a variety of experts about important and current issues in California water management and policy, including the Delta, sustainable groundwater management, Gov. Newsom’s draft Water Resilience Portfolio, impacts to water resources from climate change and more.


New Experience Announced for Lower Colorado River Tour: Topock Gorge Boat Trip
Explore Natural Wonders and Ecological Challenges Firsthand March 11-13

For the first time, participants on the Foundation’s Lower Colorado River Tour will enjoy a scenic journey on the river through portions of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, including Topock Gorge and the Havasu Wilderness Area.

Seating is limited for the March 11-13 tour, so register here to ensure your spot!

Our annual Lower Colorado River tour explores the critical role the river’s water plays in the three Lower Basin states of Nevada, Arizona and California, and how it helps to sustain their cities, farms and wildlife areas.


Latest Western Water Article Explores Plan to Bring Climate Resilience to California Water With Nancy Vogel
Former journalist and veteran water communicator explains how portfolio came together and why it should matter to average Californians

Shortly after Gov. Gavin Newsom called on state agencies to deliver a Water Resilience Portfolio to meet California’s urgent challenges — from unsafe drinking water and climate change risks to severely depleted groundwater aquifers and declining native fish populations — he appointed Nancy Vogel, a former journalist and veteran water communicator, to pull it together.

In an interview with Western Water, Vogel explains how the draft portfolio released Jan. 3 came together, its expected role in helping to guide policy and investment decisions related to climate and water resilience — and why the portfolio should matter to average Californians.


Roster of Speakers, Draft Agenda Unveiled for Feb. 20 Water 101 Workshop & Next Day Tour
Just added: Optional screening of award-winning documentary 'The Sacramento: At Current Speed'

Learn from top experts at our annual Water 101 Workshop about the history, hydrology and law behind California water as well as hot topics such as the Delta, disadvantaged communities, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and climate change’s impacts to water resources.

This once-a-year workshop on Feb. 20 in Sacramento will include speakers such as:

Press release

Former California Natural Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman Elected Board President of Water Education Foundation
Celeste Cantú, former Reclamation Commissioner Bob Johnson hold key board posts; ACWA’s Dave Eggerton among new board members joining preeminent nonprofit focused on water education

Mike Chrisman, the new president of the Water Education Foundation’s board of directors, with Executive Director Jenn Bowles at the Foundation's 2018 Water Summit in Sacramento.SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Mike Chrisman, who served as California natural resources secretary for seven years under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was elected president of the Water Education Foundation’s board of directors. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Ira “Jack” Chrisman, who was the Foundation’s founding president in 1977.

“The Foundation is near and dear to my heart,” said Chrisman, who runs his family’s ranching and farming business in Tulare County. “My father and I both viewed his dedication to the Foundation as a true personal legacy and I’m proud to follow in his footsteps as board president.”

Hoover Dam

Traverse California and the Southwest to See Their Most Iconic Water Places
First major water tour of 2018 starts next week

Lake TahoeJoin us for one of our highly praised water tours as we visit such iconic places as Hoover Dam and the Salton Sea, the Northern California headwaters near sparkling Lake Tahoe and deep into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay. Each tour stop uncovers a wealth of knowledge about water issues and challenges, and plenty of questions for our expert speakers.

Discounted early bird registration is still available for all tours except the Central Valley Tour. Here’s a rundown of the upcoming tours:


Water 101 Workshop + Tour Quickly Approaching, Reserve Your Seat Today
Join us Feb. 20 & 21 in Sacramento to brush up or get a primer on California water basics

Our annual Water 101 workshop, set for Feb. 20 at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, is just three weeks away. This popular event offers attendees the chance to hear from experts on the basics of California water law, policy, hydrology and geography.

In addition to the workshop, attendees can also opt to join the second-day tour (Feb. 21) that will showcase innovative water projects and partnerships in the Sacramento region.

Scheduled tour stops & topics include:


2020 Water Leaders Class Examines Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources
Up-and-coming water professionals chosen for highly competitive program

Twenty-three early to mid-career water professionals from across California have been chosen for the 2019 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class, the Water Education Foundation’s highly competitive and respected career development program.

The class will spend the year examining how water management can respond to climate change in California and offer policy recommendations for adapting a water system built to collect snowmelt to one that can respond to more rain and longer droughts that result from a changing climate.


Take the Pulse of the ‘Lifeline of the Southwest’ on the Lower Colorado River Tour
Join us March 11-13 to explore how some farming regions may be affected by water delivery cuts

As our Lower Colorado River Tour weaves its way downstream from Hoover Dam March 11-13, participants will learn about the important role the river’s water plays in the three Lower Basin states of Nevada, Arizona and California, and how it helps to sustain their cities, wildlife areas and farms. 

Nearly 5.5 million acres of farmland in the river’s basin rely on the ‘lifeline of the Southwest’ to grow a wide variety of crops. 


Sustainable Groundwater Management Act & Hot Topics in California Water Explained at Water 101 Workshop
Go beyond the headlines & learn from leading experts at Feb. 20 event in Sacramento

Attendees at the 2019 Water 101 workshopWhat is groundwater, and how is it managed in California?

Until recently groundwater, the water stored within the Earth in the spaces between sand, soils and fractured rock, was not routinely regulated in California. This changed in 2014 when the state Legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) as a framework for local and regional agencies to develop and implement sustainable groundwater management plans. The Jan. 31 deadline is fast-approaching for groundwater managers in California’s critically overdrafted basins to submit long-term plans to the state for review.


Get a ‘Hard Hat’ Tour of Hoover Dam and Visit Lake Mead on Lower Colorado River Tour
Experts offer updates on latest reservoir conditions and forecasts during March 11-13 tour; Early bird prices end soon

Go deep inside Hoover Dam, one of the nation’s most iconic structures, during a special “hard hat” tour as you learn about one of the nation’s largest and most managed rivers during our Lower Colorado River Tour March 11-13.

You’ll pass through elevators and doors that are closed to the public as Bureau of Reclamation managers give you an inside look at the dam’s operations. Highlights include walking inside the 2,080-megawatt hydropower plant, traversing interior service passages and inspection tunnels, and seeing architectural designs of a past era. Afterward, you will have an opportunity to explore the expanded visitor center and walk the top of the dam for an unforgettable view before getting the latest hydrology update on Lake Mead’s levels and operations.


Foundation Journalism Team Will Keep You Informed On Water Issues in California and the West
Western Water news publishes original articles and Aquafornia keeps you abreast of daily news

2020 will be a busy year for water resource issues in California and the West, and the Water Education Foundation’s team of veteran journalists will stay on top of the stories through our Western Water online news and our daily Aquafornia news aggregation.

We’re already planning a full slate of articles for Western Water news for 2020, a year that is likely to bring noteworthy developments for water resources in California and the West — from groundwater sustainability plans, to climate change preparations to addressing demand and supply imbalances on the Colorado River. We’ll be looking at stories that explore these and other issues this year. You can sign up here to be alerted when new articles are published.


Water 101 Workshop and Tour Offer Opportunity to Deepen Understanding of California Water
Workshop (Feb. 20) and optional tour (Feb. 21) to cover California water basics & beyond

Attendees at the 2019 Water 101 workshopCurious about water rights in California? Want to know more about how water is managed in the state, or learn about the State Water Project, Central Valley Project or other water infrastructure?

Sign up for our Water 101 workshop on Feb. 20 to hear from experts on these topics and more. Then join us on Feb. 21 for an optional tour that will get you up close with innovative water partnerships, projects and programs that serve as models statewide.

Announcement Jenn Bowles

Ringing in 2020 With Exciting New Efforts and Projects at the Water Education Foundation
Read about new tours and other upcoming changes in Executive Director's letter

Happy New Year to all the friends, supporters, readers, and tour and workshop participants of the Water Education Foundation! We’re grateful to each and every person who interacted with us in 2019 and supported our mission.

As we turn the page to 2020, we’re looking ahead to a few changes. 

Attendees at the 2019 Water 101 workshop heard from a variety of experts about California water basics and beyond.

Water 101, Water Summit Dates Set for 2020
Registration now open for Water 101 workshop + tour

We’re putting together an exciting lineup of Foundation conferences for 2020! Mark your calendars now for both our Water 101 workshop, scheduled for Feb. 20 at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, and our annual Water Summit, scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Westin Sacramento. Stay tuned for further announcements on other events we are planning for 2020.