Facing the challenges of sustainably managing and sharing water,
our most precious natural resource, requires collaboration,
education and outreach. Since 1977, the Water Education
Foundation has put water resource issues in California and the
West in context to inspire a deep understanding of and
appreciation for water.
Taking a steady pulse of the water world, the Foundation offers
educational materials, tours of key watersheds, water news, water
leadership training and conferences that bring together diverse
voices. By providing tools and platforms for engagement with wide
audiences, we aim to help build sound and collective solutions to
What We Do
We support and execute a wide variety of programming to build a
better understanding of water resources across the West,
Mission: The mission of the Water Education
Foundation, an impartial nonprofit, is to inspire understanding
of water and catalyze critical conversations to build bridges and
inform collaborative decision-making
Vision: A society that has the ability to
resolve its water challenges to benefit all
Where We Work
Our office is located in Sacramento, CA.
Connect with Us!
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about upcoming workshops, tours and new publications.
You can learn more about the daily comings and goings of the
Foundation by following @WaterEdFdn on Twitter,
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following us on
Here’s a sweet deal for the holidays
that won’t last long: Get our paperback “Water & the
Shaping of California,” a treasure trove of gorgeous
color photos, historic maps, water literature and famous sayings
about water for just $17.50 – a 50% discount.
“Water & the Shaping of California” is a beautifully designed
book that discusses the engineering feats, political decisions
and popular opinions that reshaped nature and society, leading to
the water projects that created the California we know today. The
book includes a foreword by the late Kevin Starr, the Golden
State’s premier historian.
Hear what may be ahead for
California’s water supply in 2023 as well as the latest
improvements to snowmelt runoff forecasts at our Winter
Outlook Workshop next Thursday, Dec. 8 in
The one-day workshop in Irvine will include insight into whether
La Niña conditions projected to persist into this winter really
mean anything as a predictor in the new reality of climate
whiplash. You also will learn about what is and isn’t known
in forecasting winter precipitation weeks to months ahead, the
skill of present forecasts and ongoing research to develop
This event is ideal for anyone involved in managing, modeling or
forecasting water resources or anyone simply interested in
hearing the latest science.
Launched in 1997, the Water Leaders program is aimed at providing
a deeper understanding of California water issues, building
leadership skills and preparing class members to take an active,
cooperative approach to decision-making about water resources
by studying a water-related topic in-depth
and crafting policy recommendations.
a short video here of Water Leader alums talking about
their experience and the benefits of the program.
The deadline to apply for the 2023 class is Wednesday,
Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. Find the online application form and other
required items for your
application package here.
Since 1977 the Water Education
Foundation has committed its work to inspiring better
understanding and supporting critical conversations about our
most vital natural resource: water. This is not a mission our
impartial nonprofit can carry on without you.
Today on Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy, please
consider making a tax-deductible
donation to support the important work we do to provide
impartial education and foster informed decision-making on water
resource issues in California and the West.
Today on Giving Tuesday, a global
day of philanthropy, you can support impartial education and
informed decision-making on water resources in California and the
West by making a tax-deductible donation to
the Water Education Foundation.
Your support ensures that our 45-year legacy of producing
in-depth news, educational workshops and accessible information
on water reaches new heights in 2023.
Don’t miss our Winter
Outlook Workshop on Dec. 8 in Irvine to hear an
update on what might be in store for this water year, the
latest improvements to snowmelt runoff forecasts and insight into
whether La Niña conditions projected to persist into this winter
really mean anything as a predictor in this new reality of
You will learn about what is and isn’t known in forecasting
winter precipitation weeks to months ahead, the skill of present
forecasts and ongoing research to develop predictive ability.
Speakers at the workshop include:
Mike Anderson, California’s state climatologist, who will
provide a recap of Water Year 2022 and a look at
prospects for Water Year 2023
Sean DeGuzman, Chief of Snow Surveys and Water Supply
Forecasting for the California Department of Water Resources, who
will talk about improvements to snowmelt runoff
Emerson Lajoie, meteorologist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction
Center, who will talk about the the center’s experimental
Water Year outlook
As drought extends its grip on
California and the West, the important work of educating about
water becomes even more important. Since 1977, the Water
Education Foundation has been a trusted source of water news and
programming, putting water resource issues in California and the
West into context.
You can support the important work of our nonprofit by
making a tax-deductible gift via a one-time payroll
deduction or a set amount per pay period through your
employer, whether you work for a federal or state agency or a
Attend a Southern California workshop to find out more about
what’s in store for Water Year 2023 and how improvements in
weather forecasting can help with water management decisions.
Apply for the 2023 cohort of our popular Water Leaders
Support water education through paycheck deductions.
Winter Outlook Workshop in Irvine, Dec. 8:
Register to join
us Thursday, Dec. 8, for our Winter Outlook
Workshop in Irvine. The past three-year
span, 2019 to 2022, has officially been the driest ever statewide
going back to 1895 when modern records began in California.
With La Niña conditions predicted to persist into this winter,
what can reliably be said about the prospects for Water Year
2023? Does La Niña really mean anything for California or is it
all washed up as a predictor in this new reality of climate
whiplash, and has any of this affected our reliance on historical
patterns to forecast California’s water supply?
Rachel Becker, who covers water
resource issues for the nonprofit news website CalMatters, is the
first recipient of the Water Education Foundation’s Rita Schmidt
Sudman Award for Excellence in Water Journalism honoring
outstanding work that illuminates complicated water issues in
California and the West.
Foundation Executive Director Jenn Bowles announced the award
Oct. 27 at the Foundation’s Water Summit in Sacramento. Joining
Bowles for the presentation was her predecessor, Sudman, a former
radio and television reporter who led the Foundation for nearly
The foundation of California’s water
supply and the catalyst for the state’s 20th century
population and economic growth is cracking. More exactly, it’s
Climate change is eroding the mountain snowpack that has
traditionally melted in the spring and summer to fill rivers and
reservoirs across the West. Now, less precipitation is falling as
snow in parts of major mountain ranges like California’s Sierra
Nevada and the Rockies in the West, and the snow that does land
is melting faster and earlier due to warming temperatures.
Join a virtual Q&A session on Nov. 9 to get an
overview of our popular but competitive Water
Leaders program and tips on applying for the 2023 cohort.
Leaders program is aimed at providing a deeper
understanding of California water issues and building
leadership skills with class members by studying a water-related
topic in-depth and working with a mentor.
The deadline to apply for the 2023 class is Dec. 7, 2022, at 5
p.m. The 10-month program starts with a mandatory orientation on
Jan. 26, 2023.
The Water Education Foundation is
mourning the loss of its Board
President Mike Chrisman, the former California Natural
Resources Secretary whose family ties to the Foundation go back
to its founding in 1977.
Mr. Chrisman, of Visalia, died from complications of cancer
Tuesday, Oct. 11. He was 78.
“We are devastated to learn about Mike’s passing,” said Jenn
Bowles, the Foundation’s executive director. “He was a
wonderfully supportive board president who cared deeply about our
mission and was constantly offering to help. Among other things,
he served as a mentor to up-and-coming professionals in our
Seats are filling up fast for our remaining fall events, so grab
a ticket while you can. Also, check out our virtual
Q&A session on Nov. 9 for those interested in
applying for next year’s Water Leaders class. More details below.
Our inaugural 2022 Colorado River Water
Leaders class completed its six-month program with a
report outlining key policy recommendations for managing the
Colorado River after existing operating guidelines expire in
The class of 13
up-and-coming leaders included engineers, lawyers,
resource specialists, scientists and others working for public,
private and nongovernmental organizations from across the river’s
basin. The class had full editorial control to choose its
With 25 years of experience working
on the Colorado River, Chuck Cullom is used to responding to
myriad challenges that arise on the vital lifeline that seven
states, more than two dozen tribes and the country of Mexico
depend on for water. But this summer problems on the
drought-stressed river are piling up at a dizzying pace:
Reservoirs plummeting to record low levels, whether Hoover Dam
and Glen Canyon Dam can continue to release water and produce
hydropower, unprecedented water cuts and predatory smallmouth
bass threatening native fish species in the Grand Canyon.
“Holy buckets, Batman!,” said Cullom, executive director of the
Upper Colorado River Commission. “I mean, it’s just on and on and
Our premier event of the year,
the Foundation’s 38th annual Water Summiton Oct. 27 in Sacramento will highlight
conversations that examine our relationship with water resources
and how best to address the challenges presented by ongoing
drought and a changing climate.
With this year’s theme, Rethinking
Water in the West, a variety of policymakers,
experts and officials will be discussing important topics in
water across California and the West. Conversations will
take place around rethinking:
Water management in a drought-driven West
Water rights in light of drought-spawned shortages and
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which acts as the state’s
crucial water hub and serves as a vital ecological resource
In addition, there will be an update on the status of
California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
Plus, with all the activity involving water in California
and the drought gripping the West, be sure to subscribe to
our Aquafornia service
so you don’t miss out on top water news compiled each
weekday and delivered to your inbox.
Check out the details below to learn more about these fall
programs and our Aquafornia newsfeed.
A science journalist and author
whose new book highlights efforts to reshape how we think about
and work with water will provide the keynote address at the
Foundation’s 2022 Water
Summit on Oct. 27 in Sacramento.