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 just-released 2017 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 photos.
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 at the 25th Annual Urban Water Institute’s conference in San Diego next month.
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.
It’s 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 restoration project.
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 in remediation.
The 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 infestations.
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 beetles.
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 cost.
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 Water news?
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 endangered.
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.