The Water Education Foundation’s “flagship” is its quarterly
Western Water magazine. Each issue examines a different
aspect of the water picture. Western Water is the only
magazine in California and the West to focus exclusively on
in-depth coverage of water resources issues.
There are multiple Delta Vision processes underway and a decision
on the future of the Delta will be made in the next two years.
Unlike past planning efforts that focused primarily on water
resource issues and the ecosystem, these current efforts are
expanding to include land use planning, recreation, flood
management, and energy, rail and transportation infrastructure.
How – or if – all these competing demands can be accommodated is
the question being considered.
This issue of Western Water looks at some of the issues
facing drinking water providers, such as compliance with
increasingly stringent treatment requirements, the need to
improve source water quality and the mission of continually
informing consumers about the quality of water they receive.
This issue of Western Water looks at climate change and
its implications on water management in a region that is wholly
dependent on steady, predictable wet seasons to recharge supplies
for the lengthy dry periods. To what degree has climate change
occurred and what are the scenarios under which impacts will have
to be considered by water providers? The future is anything but
This issue of Western Water looks at water
infrastructure – from the large conveyance systems to the small
neighborhood providers – and the many challenges faced by water
agencies in their continuing mission of assuring a steady and
reliable supply for their customers.
This issue of Western Water examines the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta as it stands today and the efforts by government
agencies, policy experts, elected officials and the public at
large to craft a vision for a sustainable future.
This issue of Western Water examines that process. Much
of the information is drawn from discussions that occurred at the
November 2005 Selenium Summit sponsored by the Foundation and the
California Department of Water Resources. At that summit, a
variety of experts presented findings and the latest activities
from areas where selenium is of primary interest.
This issue of Western Water examines the extent to
which California faces a disaster equal to or greater than the
New Orleans floods and the steps being taken to recognize and
address the shortcomings of the flood control system in the
Central Valley and the Delta, which is of critical importance
because of its role in providing water to 22 million people.
Complicating matters are the state’s skyrocketing pace of growth
coupled with an inherently difficult process of obtaining secure,
long-term funds for levee repairs and continued maintenance.
Hydropower generation is prevalent in the West, where rapidly
flowing river systems have been tapped for generations to produce
electricity. Hydropower is a clean, steady and reliable energy
source, but the damming of rivers has exacted a toll on the
environment, affecting, among other things, the migration of fish
to vestigial spawning grounds. Many of those projects are due to
be relicensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
With interstate discussions of critical Colorado River issues
seemingly headed for stalemate, Secretary of the Interior Gale
Norton stepped in May 2 to defuse, or at least defer, a
potentially divisive debate over water releases from Lake Powell.
This issue of Western Water examines the continuing practice of
smart water use in the urban sector and its many facets, from
improved consumer appliances to improved agency planning to the
improvements in water recycling and desalination. Many in the
water community say conserving water is not merely a response to
drought conditions, but a permanent ethic in an era in which
every drop of water is a valuable commodity not to be wasted.
This issue of Western Water discusses the CALFED Bay-Delta
Program and what the future holds as it enters a crucial period.
From its continued political viability to the advancement of best
available science and the challenges of fulfilling the ROD, the
near future will feature a lively discussion that will play a
significant role in the program’s future.
This issue of Western Water explores the implications for the San
Joaquin River following the decision in the Natural Resources
Defense Council lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and
Friant Water Users Authority that Friant Dam is required to
comply with a state law that requires enough water be released to
sustain downstream fish populations.
This issue of Western Water analyzes northern California’s
extensive flood control system – it’ history, current concerns,
the Paterno decision and how experts are re-thinking the concept
of flood management.
This issue of Western Water examines PPCPs – what they are, where
they come from and whether the potential exists for them to
become a water quality problem. With the continued emphasis on
water quality and the fact that many water systems in the West
are characterized by flows dominated by effluent contributions,
PPCPs seem likely to capture interest for the foreseeable future.
This issue of Western Water examines the presence of mercury in
the environment and the challenge of limiting the threat posed to
human health and wildlife. In addition to outlining the extent of
the problem and its resistance to conventional pollution
remedies, the article presents a glimpse of some possible courses
of action for what promises to be a long-term problem.
This issue of Western Water examines the extensive activity
associated with the projects and issues related to the Napa
proposal – from increasing the state’s pumping capacity to
improvements in the south Delta to the creation of a lasting
Environmental Water Account to addressing water quality concerns.
As of press time, the proposal was far from finalized, undergoing
review and possible revision by government agencies and
This issue of Western Water examines the challenges facing state,
federal and tribal officials and other stakeholders as they work
to manage terminal lakes. It includes background information on
the formation of these lakes, and overviews of the water quality,
habitat and political issues surrounding these distinctive bodies
of water. Much of the information in this article originated at
the September 2004 StateManagement Issues at Terminal Water
Bodies/Closed Basins conference.
This issue of Western Water examines the Los Angeles River,
certainly the most unique waterway in California and perhaps the
world because of the degree to which it has been transformed by
human hands. Despite the makeover, current efforts are focused on
making the river something different; a place not so foreboding,
more welcoming and possibly a distant remnant of what existed
This issue of Western Water explores the question of whether the
state needs more surface storage, with a particular focus on the
five proposed projects identified in the CALFED 2000 ROD and the
politics and funding issues of these projects.
This issue of Western Water examines the issue of California
groundwater management, in light of recent attention focused on
the subject through legislative actions and the release of the
draft Bulletin 118. In addition to providing an overview of
groundwater and management options, it offers a glimpse of what
the future may hold and some background information on
groundwater hydrology and law.