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
In this Issue: Water leader applications for
2024 will be coming out soon! And don’t forget to join us at our
annual Water Summit Oct. 25 when we’ll be talking about taking on
the improbable; and check out our latest Western Water
article about a little-known change in law that will benefit
groundwater in California.
A new but little-known change in
California law designating aquifers as “natural infrastructure”
promises to unleash a flood of public funding for projects that
increase the state’s supply of groundwater.
The change is buried in a sweeping state budget-related law,
enacted in July, that also makes it easier for property owners
and water managers to divert floodwater for storage underground.
You can now register for the Water Education Foundation’s 39th
Summit. The one-day conference will have
leading policymakers and experts sharing the latest
information and insights on water in California and the West. The
event includes an evening reception for networking with
speakers and fellow attendees from a variety of backgrounds.
The Klamath River Basin was once one
of the world’s most ecologically magnificent regions, a watershed
teeming with salmon, migratory birds and wildlife that thrived
alongside Native American communities. The river flowed rapidly
from its headwaters in southern Oregon’s high deserts into Upper
Klamath Lake, collected snowmelt along a narrow gorge through the
Cascades, then raced downhill to the California coast in a misty,
The bus is nearly full for our
special, one-time onlyEastern Sierra
TourSeptember 12-15 that will
journey from the Truckee, Carson and Walker river basins to
Mono Lake and on through Owens Valley to explore, in part, a
major water source for Southern California.
Registration has only been open for a few weeks and the
buses are already nearing capacity for
our fall tours along the
Eastern Sierra and across Northern
California! See below for more details and reserve
your spot soon for both don’t-miss, firsthand experiences
before they’re gone. Plus, mark your calendars now for
our Water Summit in Sacramento, the Foundation’s
premier annual event.
Grab a ticket while they last for
our fall tours along the
Eastern Sierra and across Northern
California. See below for more information and
registration details on both don’t-miss opportunities to
get a firsthand look at the facilities, the rivers and
regions critical in the debate about the future of water
We’re hiring a development director – check out the posting
Don’t miss your opportunity to hop aboard our
Headwaters Tourlater this
month as we head into the Sierra Nevada to learn
about upper watersheds and the critical role they play in both
water supply and quality across California.
Plus, mark your calendars now for our fall
A new underground mapping technology
that reveals the best spots for storing surplus water in
California’s Central Valley is providing a big boost to the
state’s most groundwater-dependent communities.
The maps provided by the California Department of Water Resources
for the first time pinpoint paleo valleys and similar prime
underground storage zones traditionally found with some guesswork
by drilling exploratory wells and other more time-consuming
manual methods. The new maps are drawn from data on the
composition of underlying rock and soil gathered by low-flying
helicopters towing giant magnets.
The unique peeks below ground are saving water agencies’
resources and allowing them to accurately devise ways to capture
water from extreme storms and soak or inject the surplus
underground for use during the next drought.
“Understanding where you’re putting and taking water from really
helps, versus trying to make multimillion-dollar decisions based
on a thumb and which way the wind is blowing,” said Aaron Fukuda,
general manager of the Tulare Irrigation District, an early
adopter of the airborne electromagnetic or
AEM technology in California.
The Water Education Foundation’s
just-released 2022 Annual Report recaps how
we returned to hosting in-person events and tours and
expanded our programs across the West as the global pandemic
began to wane early in the year.
TourJune 21-22 will take
you into the Sierra Nevada to explore the impacts of
this year’s historically large snowpack, reported at well
over 200% of average. Remaining seats are limited so don’t
miss your chance to examine water issues happening upstream that
have dramatic effects throughout the state.
What exactly is an ‘average’ snowpack and how is it measured? How
are those measurements then translated into forecasts of
California’s water supply for the year, and is climate change
making our reliance on historical patterns as a predictor
obsolete? You’ll get an opportunity to learn about
these topics directly from experts including Sean de
Guzman, manager of the California Department of Water Resources
Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Unit.
Our Headwaters TouronJune 21-22 returns in
person for the first time in four years and seats are filling up
quickly! Don’t miss your chance to venture from the
foothills of the Sierra Nevada to Lake Tahoe to examine
water issues happening upstream that can dramatically affect
communities downstream and throughout the state.
Today is Big Day of Giving, and your donation can
help the Water Education Foundation continue its work to enhance
public understanding about water in California and across the
Big Day of Giving is a 24-hour regional fundraising event that
has profound benefits for our programs and publications that
educate about hot topics in water, such as drought, floods,
groundwater, headwaters and more in California and the Colorado
Don’t miss your opportunity to put your feet on the ground
this spring in regions critical to California’s water story.
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! And check out our latest Western Water
news article that explores how states in the upper watershed of
the Colorado River are trying to strengthen their negotiating
position as severe water cuts loom amid shrinking reservoirs and
The states of the Lower Colorado
River Basin have traditionally played an oversized role in
tapping the lifeline that supplies 40 million people in the West.
California, Nevada and Arizona were quicker to build major canals
and dams and negotiated a landmark deal that requires the Upper
Basin to send predictable flows through the Grand Canyon, even
during dry years.
But with the federal government threatening unprecedented water
cuts amid decades of drought and declining reservoirs, the Upper
Basin states of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico are
muscling up to protect their shares of an overallocated river
whose average flows in the Upper Basin have already dropped
20 percent over the last century.
They have formed new agencies to better monitor their interests,
moved influential Colorado River veterans into top negotiating
posts and improved their relationships with Native American
tribes that also hold substantial claims to the river.