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.

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 includes 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.

Tour Nick Gray

Central Valley Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - November 4

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

Foundation Event River Garden Farms Jenn Bowles Nick Gray

Water Summit 2021
A Virtual Forum: Pivoting Today’s Pain into Tomorrow’s Gain

Banner logo of the 2021 Water SummitThe 2021 Water Summit, our annual premier event, was hosted as an engaging virtual experience on the afternoon of Oct. 28, 2021, and was followed by an optional in-person reception cruise in Sacramento aboard an open-air yacht on the Sacramento River.

Aerial photo of a portion of Lake Oroville in July 2021 showing almost no water, the result of a two-year drought.The 37th Water Summit featured top policymakers and leading experts who provided the latest information and viewpoints on issues affecting water across California and the West.

Tour Nick Gray Jenn Bowles

Northern California Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - October 14

This tour guided participants on a virtual exploration of the Sacramento River and its tributaries and learn 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.

Tour Nick Gray Jenn Bowles Layperson's Guide to the Delta

Bay-Delta Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - September 9

This tour guided participants on a virtual journey deep into California’s most crucial water and ecological resource – the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The 720,000-acre network of islands and canals support the state’s two major water systems – the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project. The Delta and the connecting San Francisco Bay form the largest freshwater tidal estuary of its kind on the West coast.

Lower Colorado River Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - May 20

This event explored the lower Colorado River 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 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states 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. 

Foundation Event

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
Virtual Workshop Occurred Afternoons of April 22-23

Our Water 101 Workshop, one of our most popular events, offered attendees the opportunity to deepen their understanding of California’s water history, laws, geography and politics.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the workshop was held as an engaging online event on the afternoons of Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23.

Lower Colorado River Tour 2020
Field Trip - March 11-13

This tour explored the lower Colorado River 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 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour. 

Silverton Hotel
3333 Blue Diamond Road
Las Vegas, NV 89139
Foundation Event University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Jenn Bowles Nick Gray

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond

The Water Education Foundation’s Water 101 Workshop, one of our most popular events, offered attendees the opportunity to deepen their understanding of California’s water history, laws, geography and politics.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the one-day workshop held on Feb. 20, 2020 covered the latest on the most compelling issues in California water. 

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

Central Coast Tour 2019
Field Trip - November 6-7

This 2-day, 1-night tour offered participants the opportunity to learn about water issues affecting California’s scenic Central Coast and efforts to solve some of the challenges of a region struggling to be sustainable with limited local supplies that have potential applications statewide.

Northern California Tour 2019
Field Trip - October 2-4

This tour explored the Sacramento River and its tributaries through a scenic landscape as participants learned 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. Tour participants got an on-site update of Oroville Dam spillway repairs.

Edge of Drought Tour
Field Trip - Aug. 27-29

This tour journeyed through a scenic landscape and explored an area of California dealing with persistent threats to its water supply and quality. Along the way, we learned about solutions that were being implemented.

Although Santa Barbara County had lifted its drought emergency declaration after the 2019 storms replenished local reservoirs, the region’s hydrologic recovery has often lagged behind much of the rest of the state. It is a region particularly prone to drought, wildfires and mudslides.

Headwaters Tour 2019
Field Trip - June 27-28

Sixty 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 and widespread tree mortality. 

Tour Nick Gray

Lower Colorado River Tour 2019

This three-day, two-night tour explored the lower Colorado River 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 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour. 

Best Western McCarran Inn
4970 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119

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

One of our most popular events, our annual Water 101 Workshop details 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 the state, the one-day workshop on Feb. 7 gave attendees a deeper understanding of the state’s most precious natural resources.

 Optional Groundwater Tour

On Feb. 8, we jumped aboard a bus to explore groundwater, a key resource in California. Led by Foundation staff and groundwater experts Thomas Harter and Carl Hauge, retired DWR chief hydrogeologist, the tour visited cities and farms using groundwater, examined a subsidence measuring station and provided the latest updates on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

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