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Overview Jenn Bowles

About Us

Who We Are

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 water issues.

What We Do

We support and execute a wide variety of programming to build a better understanding of water resources across the West, including:

Why Water?

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!

Sign up here to get email announcements 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, liking us on Facebook or following us on LinkedIn.


International Conference to Address Groundwater Challenges and Successes in Agricultural Regions
Grab a Coveted Sponsor or Exhibitor Spot at this Unique Gathering in San Francisco

Groundwater basins in California and across the world are the source for much of the water that grows our food. But many challenges come with groundwater: Keeping use sustainable, nitrate contamination and impacts from climate change.

The world’s top scientists, policymakers and experts will be addressing these topics June 18-20 in San Francisco at the  3ʳᵈ International Groundwater Conference Linking Science & Policy, along with the latest advancements on groundwater demand management, conjuctive use, managed aquifer recharge, groundwater governance and emerging artificial intelligence resources related to groundwater and agriculture.

Learn more about the topics by viewing the draft program here.


There’s Still Time to Support Your Favorite Water Nonprofit on Big Day of Giving
You have until midnight to donate!

Big Day of Giving is nearly over but you still have until midnight to support the Water Education Foundation’s tours, workshops, publications and other programs with a donation to help us reach our $15,000 fundraising goal - we are only $6,405 away!

At the Foundation, we believe that education is as precious as water. Your donations help us every day to teach K-12 educators how to bring water science into the classroom and to empower future decision-makers through our professional development programs.

Our portfolio of programs reach many people and in many different ways:


Big Day of Giving is Here! Make a BIG Splash for Water Education with a Donation
And join us today from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for our open house

Today is Big Day of Giving! Your donation will help the Water Education Foundation continue its work to enhance public understanding of our most precious natural resource in in California and across the West – water.

Big Day of Giving is a 24-hour regional fundraising event that has profound benefits for our educational programs and publications on drought, floods, groundwater, and the importance of headwaters in California and the Colorado River Basin.

Your tax-deductible donation of any size helps support our tours, scholarships, teacher training workshops, free access to our daily water newsfeed and more. You have until midnight to help us reach our $15,000 fundraising goal!

Donate here by midnight!

Support Your Favorite Water Nonprofit Today on Big Day of Giving!

We are midway through Big Day of Giving, a 24-hour regional fundraising event that benefits our tours, workshops and publications that educate about floods, drought, groundwater, climate change and more!

You have until midnight to make a donation that will help keep the Water Education Foundation as a go-to resource for in-depth, impartial information about water in California and the West.

If you have had the amazing opportunity to attend one of our water tours, enjoyed reading our Western Water articles, or have purchased any of our beautiful water maps or Layperson’s Guides, you can show your appreciation by helping us reach our $15,000 goal!

Donate here on our campaign page. We have $7,931 to go!


Registration Open for July Headwaters Tour; Support Our Work on the Big Day of Giving; All Water Maps on Sale!
Grab a Coveted Sponsor or Exhibitor Spot at International Groundwater Conference

Make a Splash with a Big Day of Giving Gift!

Big Day of Giving is just around the corner! Your donation helps support scholarships for our tours, events & workshops, expand Project WET teacher trainings throughout California, provide free public access to our Western Water news coverage, updates to our Layperson’s Guides and more!

Donate today or anytime through May 2 to help us reach our fundraising goal of $15,000!


Early ‘Big Day of Giving’ Begins Today!

There is no need to wait to show your love for the Water Education Foundation! Starting today, you can donate to our Big Day of Giving campaign and help us reach our fundraising goal of $15,000 by May 2.

Big Day of Giving is a 24-hour online fundraising marathon for nonprofits. Donations will benefit our programs and publications across California and the West.


International Groundwater Conference Returns to San Francisco for First Time Since 2016
Grab a Coveted Sponsor or Exhibitor Spot at this Unique Gathering about Groundwater and Agriculture

The Foundation’s Central Valley Tour at the end of April is nearing capacity and while there’s still some space on the tour, there’s another very exciting opportunity on the horizon this summer to engage directly with groundwater experts from California and across the world.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

A Tulare County groundwater agency on the hot seat for helping sink the Friant-Kern Canal holds private tours for state regulators

As the date of reckoning for excessive groundwater pumping in Tulare County grows closer, lobbying by water managers and growers has ramped up. The Friant Water Authority, desperate to protect its newly rebuilt –  yet still sinking – Friant-Kern Canal, has beseeched the Water Resources Control Board to get involved. Specifically, it has asked board members to look into how the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) has, or has not, curbed over pumping that affects the canal. Meanwhile, the Eastern Tule groundwater agency has been doing a bit of its own lobbying. It recently hosted all five members of the Water Board on three separate tours of the region, including the canal. Because the tours were staggered, there wasn’t a quorum of board members, which meant they weren’t automatically open to the public.

Related articles: 


Join Our Once-A-Year Central Valley Tour; Registration Coming Soon for Headwaters Tour; Save the Date for NorCal Tour
International Groundwater Conference Returns to San Francisco for First Time Since 2016

The Foundation’s Bay-Delta Tour in May has already sold out, so don’t miss out on the remaining opportunities this spring and summer to visit important regions in the state’s water story firsthand and engage directly with water experts in California and from across the world.

Central Valley Tour: April 24-26

NEARING CAPACITY! Only a few seats remain on the bus for our Central Valley Tour that travels the length of the San Joaquin Valley to explore the challenges of sustaining one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions. Participants will visit farms and some of the state’s major infrastructure, such as Friant Dam and San Luis Reservoir, as well as the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, a major wintering ground and migratory stopover point for large concentrations of waterfowl and shorebirds. Register here before tickets are gone!


Foundation’s Journalism Team Brings You the Day’s Top Water News
Free Resources Like Aquafornia Keep You Current on Water across California and the West

Removal of Copco 2 dam on Klamath River, 2023As our programs team at the Water Education Foundation organizes annual events like next week’s Water 101 Workshop, our journalism team raises water awareness daily through Aquafornia, our water newsfeed that helps you stay current.

Our journalists – Nick Cahill, Chris Bowman, Alastair Bland and Jenn Bowles – have covered water-related news for years, making them ideal curators of the most important and interesting water stories from around California and the West.


Last Call for Water 101 Workshop; Upcoming Tours of Key Water Regions Nearly Sold Out
Meet our Team at an Open House; Program Posted for International Groundwater Conference

Spring is a busy time at the Water Education Foundation! Don’t miss these upcoming opportunities to visit important regions in the state’s water story firsthand and engage directly with water experts in California and across the world. Plus, you can meet our team in person at our annual open house to learn more about how we educate and foster understanding of California’s most precious natural resource — water!

Water 101 Workshop: April 5

Last call to register for our Water 101 Workshop, an annual daylong course on California water hosted at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento! View an agenda here for our popular workshop that details the history, geography and the legal and political facets of water in California. Plus, workshop participants are invited to grab one of the few remaining seats on the optional groundwater tour April 4. Find more details and register here by this Friday, March 29!


Rising Stars Selected for 2024 Colorado River Water Leaders
Cohort to Study Augmentation Potential in Basin

Thirteen early to mid-career water professionals from across the West have been chosen to participate in the Water Education Foundation’s 2024 Colorado River Water Leaders cohort.

Like our California Water Leaders program, the Colorado River Water Leaders cohort includes engineers, lawyers, resource specialists, scientists and others working for public, private and nongovernmental organizations from across the river’s basin in the United States and Mexico. The 2024 cohort roster can be found here.


Attend Our Open House May 2; New Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River Hot Off the Press; Register for Water 101 Before It’s Sold Out

New Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River Basin

The Water Education Foundation’s 10th edition of the Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River Basin is hot off the press and available for purchase.

Updated and redesigned, the 28-page guide is a solid, easy-to-read primer on one of the world’s most dramatic and developed rivers.


Upcoming Workshops, Tours and International Conference to Focus on Groundwater
Mark National Groundwater Awareness Week by Signing Up for an Event or Tour to Deepen Your Understanding

With National Groundwater Awareness Week approaching and 2024 marking the 10ᵗʰ anniversary of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in California, these Water Education Foundation tours and events will help you gain a deeper understanding of groundwater fundamentals and the work being done to bring aquifers into balance. Seating is limited and tickets are going fast!


Virtually Explore the Delta; Remembering Bob Johnson; Grab a Spot While They Last for Upcoming Tours & Events
Seize a Coveted Sponsorship for Our Tours & Events

Check Out Our Growing Delta Digital Library 

We’ve expanded our digital Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta library. You can now virtually visit the Delta by watching a series of short videos that show its multiple dimensions: a hub of California’s water supply, an agricultural cornucopia, a water playground and a haven for fish and other wildlife.

You can check out the video series here. You can also explore our interactive story map to the Delta.


Learn About California Water Basics & Beyond at Water 101 Workshop April 5
Jump on the Bus for an Optional Groundwater Tour April 4; Seize a Coveted Sponsor Spot!

Water management at the local level in California increasingly requires a firm grasp of issues across the state, so take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to attend our Water 101 Workshop on April 5 and gain a deeper understanding of the history, hydrology and law behind California’s most precious natural resource.

Top policy and legal experts will be presenting at our annual workshop held at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, with an optional groundwater tour the day before.


Water Education Foundation Board Welcomes Two New Members to its Diverse Array of Water Interests
Two veteran board members join Executive Committee

Two new members were elected to the Water Education Foundation Board of Directors, joining a diverse cross-section of water supply, business, environmental, agricultural and public interest organizations that governs the impartial nonprofit based in Sacramento.

In addition, two veteran board members were elevated to the Executive Committee, joining Board President Terry Fulp, former director of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado River region, and Treasurer JaNell Cook of HDR Inc. Eric Robinson, managing shareholder of Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, became Vice President and Ane Deister, executive director of the Urban Water Institute, was elected Secretary.

California to uncloak water rights as it moves records online
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: State also aims to make water use data readily available to public

For a state that prides itself on technological innovation, California is surprisingly antiquated when it comes to accessing fundamental facts about its most critical natural resource – water.

Most anywhere else in the West, basic water rights information such as who is using how much water, for what purpose, when, and where can be pulled up on a laptop or smartphone.


Water 101 Workshop Offers Rookies & Veterans a Chance to Deepen Their Understanding of California Water
April 5 Workshop in Sacramento includes optional Groundwater Tour on April 4

Image shows a presenter and some of the audience at Water 101 WorkshopOne of the Foundation’s most popular events, our daylong Water 101 Workshop on April 5 offers a once-a-year opportunity to gain a solid statewide grounding of California’s most precious natural resource - whether you are new to California water issues or just want a refresher.

Hosted at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Water 101 covers the history, hydrology and law behind water management in California and is taught by some of the state’s leading policy and legal experts.


2024 Water Leaders Cohort Examines Ways to Help Groundwater Basins Become Sustainable
Rising stars in the water world chosen for highly competitive leadership program

2024 Water Leaders CohortTwenty early to mid-career water professionals from across California have been chosen for the 2024 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders cohort, the Water Education Foundation’s highly competitive and respected leadership program.

The cohort includes engineers, lawyers, resource specialists, scientists and others from a range of public and private entities and nongovernmental organizations. The roster for the 2024 class can be found here.