Past Tours & Events

Overview

Past Foundation Tours & Events

See the regions we’ve explored on tours and the issues we’ve examined at workshops and conferences.

Water Summit 2023
Annual Event Returned October 25 in Sacramento

The Water Summit is the Water Education Foundation’s premier event of the year, with leading policymakers and experts addressing critical water issues in California and across the West.

This year’s event was held Wednesday, October 25, at The Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento and included lunch and an evening reception to network with speakers and fellow attendees.

The Sawyer Hotel
500 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Northern California Tour 2023
Field Trip - October 18-20

This tour explored the Sacramento River and its tributaries through a scenic landscape while learning about the issues associated with a key source for the state’s water supply.

All together, the river and its tributaries supply 35 percent of California’s water and feed into two major projects: the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Water Education Foundation
2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833
Tour Nick Gray

Eastern Sierra Tour 2023
Field Trip - September 12-15

This special Foundation water tour journeyed along the Eastern Sierra from the Truckee River to Mono Lake, through the Owens Valley and into the Mojave Desert to explore a major source of water for Southern California, this year’s snowpack and challenges for towns, farms and the environment.

Grand Sierra Resort
2500 E 2nd St
Reno, NV 89595
Tour Nick Gray

Headwaters Tour 2023
Field Trip - June 21-22 (optional whitewater rafting June 20)

On average, more than 60 percent of California’s developed water supply originates in the Sierra Nevada and the southern spur of the Cascade Range. Our water supply is largely dependent on the health of our Sierra forests, which are suffering from ecosystem degradation, drought, wildfires and widespread tree mortality. 

This tour ventured into the Sierra to examine water issues that happen upstream but have dramatic impacts downstream and throughout the state.

Bay-Delta Tour 2023
Field Trip - May 17-19

This tour traveled deep into California’s water hub and traversed the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a 720,000-acre network of islands and canals that supports the state’s water system and is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource. The tour made its way to San Francisco Bay and included a ferry ride.

Water from Northern California flows through the Delta and provides drinking water for more than 27 million Californians and irrigation to about 3 million acres of farmland that contribute to the state’s $54 billion agricultural industry. 

Water Education Foundation
2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833
Foundation Event

Open House & Reception
We held our annual open house at our office near the Sacramento River

The Water Education Foundation hosted an open house and reception on May 4 as part of the Big Day of Giving campaign.

People came to our Sacramento office between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. to meet our team and learn more about what we do to educate and inspire understanding of the most precious natural resource in California and across the West — water!

They enjoyed refreshments and appetizers while catching up on our tours, conferences, maps, water news and training programs for teachers and up-and-coming water professionals.

2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento CA 95833

Central Valley Tour 2023
Field Trip - April 26-28

This tour ventured through California’s Central Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket thanks to an imported supply of surface water and local groundwater. Covering about 20,000 square miles through the heart of the state, the valley provides 25 percent of the nation’s food, including 40 percent of all fruits, nuts and vegetables consumed throughout the country.

Water Education Foundation
2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833
Tour Nick Gray

Lower Colorado River Tour 2023
Field Trip - March 8-10

This tour explored the lower Colorado River firsthand where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to some 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states, 30 tribal nations and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs was the focus of this tour.

Hyatt Place Las Vegas At Silverton Village
8380 Dean Martin Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89139

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics & Beyond
One-day workshop included optional watershed tour the next day

One of our most popular events, our annual Water 101 Workshop detailed the history, geography, legal and political facets of water in California as well as hot topics currently facing the state.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in California, the one-day workshop on February 23 gave attendees a deeper understanding of the state’s most precious natural resource. View the workshop agenda by clicking here.

The workshop, hosted at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, was beneficial to water district directors, water resource industry staff, engineering and environmental firm personnel, city council members, county supervisors, legislators, legislative staff, press, advocates, attorneys, environmentalists, public interest organizations and others.

McGeorge School of Law
3327 5th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Foundation Event Nick Gray

Winter Outlook Workshop
Dec. 8th Workshop in Irvine Focused on Ability to Predict Winter Precipitation

The three-year span, 2019 to 2022, was officially the driest ever statewide going back to 1895 when modern records began in California. But that most recent period of overall drought also saw big swings from very wet to very dry stretches such as the 2021-2022 water year that went from a relatively wet Oct.-Dec. beginning to the driest Jan.-March period in the state’s history.

With La Niña conditions predicted to persist into the 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?

Participants found out what efforts are being made to improve sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) precipitation forecasting for California and the Colorado River Basin at our one-day Winter Outlook Workshop December 8 in Irvine, CA.

Beckman Center
Huntington Room
100 Academy Way
Irvine, California 92617
Tour Nick Gray

San Joaquin River Restoration Tour 2022
Field Trip - November 2-3

This tour traveled along the San Joaquin River to learn firsthand about one of the nation’s largest and most expensive river restoration projects.

The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most contentious legal battles in California water history, ending in a 2006 settlement between the federal government, Friant Water Users Authority and a coalition of environmental groups.

Hampton Inn & Suites Fresno
327 E Fir Ave
Fresno, CA 93720

Water Summit 2022
38th Annual Event Returned In-Person October 27 in Sacramento

Our 2022 Water Summit, the Water Education Foundation’s premier event of the year, featured engaging conversations about critical issues impacting water statewide and across the West revolving around the theme: Rethinking Water in the West.

The in-person event was hosted on Thursday, October 27, at The Westin Sacramento and included lunch and an evening reception along California’s largest and longest river, the Sacramento River, for an opportunity to network with speakers and other attendees.

The Westin Sacramento
4800 Riverside Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95822
Foundation Event Water Leaders

Water Leaders Alum Reunion
Oct. 26 in Sacramento

Members of our 2019 Water Leaders class on the Central Valley Tour We marked the 25th anniversary of our California Water Leaders program by holding a reunion of alums dating back to 1997 when the program first began.

If you had gone through our program, registration was available for our reunion on Oct. 26, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to mark the special anniversary. We hosted it in Sacramento along the American River in a rustic, relaxed setting with lawn games, happy hour and dinner. 

Northern California Tour 2022
Field Trip - October 12-14

This tour explored the Sacramento River and its tributaries through a scenic landscape while learning about the issues associated with a key source for the state’s water supply.

All together, the river and its tributaries supply 35 percent of California’s water and feed into two major projects: the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Water Education Foundation
2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833

Making Progress on Drought Management: Improvements in Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting
June 9th event held in Irvine

Over the past decade, climate whiplash in California has been evident in the big swings from very dry years to very wet years and back again. That dynamic was seen in microcosm within the 2021-2022 water year as we went from a relatively wet beginning from Oct.-Dec. to the driest Jan.-March period in the state’s history, rendering the spring’s precipitation “too little, too late.”

How has this new reality affected our reliance on historical patterns to forecast California’s water supply? What efforts are being made to improve precipitation forecasting at varying time scales through new science, models and technology? Participants found out at our one-day event June 9 in Irvine, Making Progress on Drought Management: Improvements in Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting.

Beckman Center
Huntington Room
100 Academy Way
Irvine, California 92617
Tour Nick Gray

Bay-Delta Tour 2022
Field Trip - May 18-20

This tour traveled deep into California’s water hub and traversed the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a 720,000-acre network of islands and canals that supports the state’s water system and is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource. The tour made its way to San Francisco Bay and included a ferry ride.

Sacramento-San Joaquin DeltaWater from Northern California flows through the Delta and provides drinking water for more than 27 million Californians and irrigation to about 3 million acres of farmland that contribute to the state’s $54 billion agricultural industry. 

Water Education Foundation
2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833

Central Valley Tour 2022
Field Trip - April 20-22

Central Valley Tour participants at a dam.This tour ventured through California’s Central Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket thanks to an imported supply of surface water and local groundwater. Covering about 20,000 square miles through the heart of the state, the valley provides 25 percent of the nation’s food, including 40 percent of all fruits, nuts and vegetables consumed throughout the country.

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
One-day workshop included optional groundwater tour the day before

One of our most popular events, our annual Water 101 Workshop detailed the history, geography, legal and political facets of water in California as well as hot topics of the moment.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in California, the one-day workshop on April 8 gave attendees a deeper understanding of the state’s most precious natural resource.

The workshop, held at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, was beneficial to water resource industry staff, engineering and environmental firm personnel, city council members, county supervisors, legislators, legislative staff, press, advocates, attorneys, environmentalists, public interest organizations, water district directors and others.

McGeorge School of Law
3327 5th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Tour Nick Gray

Lower Colorado River Tour 2022
Field Trip - March 16-18

The lower Colorado River has virtually every drop allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states, 30 tribal nations and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs was the focus of this tour.

Hyatt Place Las Vegas At Silverton Village
8380 Dean Martin Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89139
Tour Nick Gray Jenn Bowles

Headwaters Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - November 9

Thirty percent of California’s developed water supply originates high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Our water supply is largely dependent on the health of our Sierra forests, which are suffering from ecosystem degradation, drought, wildfires, widespread tree mortality and other climate change impacts.

This virtual journey into the foothills and the mountains examined water issues that happen upstream but have dramatic impacts downstream and throughout the state.