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.
This 3-day, 2-night tour focused on the San Joaquin Valley, the southern part of the vast region, which faces challenges after years of drought, dwindling water supplies, decreasing water quality and farmland conversion for urban growth. The tour gave participants an understanding of the region’s water use and issues as well as the agricultural practices, including new technologies and water-saving measures.
Participants visited farms and some of the state’s major infrastructure, such as Friant Dam and the 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. The tour began and ended at the Foundation’s office in Sacramento. Click here for details on our COVID-19 tour precautions.
“This was a fantastic tour. In three days, I had the opportunity to meet numerous experts in the field. It was a nice blend of speakers. I am looking forward to reviewing all the handout materials.”
“As a water engineer new to California, it gave me a much better perspective of differing objectives and opportunities to clients.”
“The information the speakers presented. Also, the range and differing views. First-hand engagement of local districts/farmers and being able to see things for myself.”
This tour started at 7:30 a.m. on April 20 and ended at 6:30 p.m. on April 22 at the Water Education Foundation office, 2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA, and free parking was available.
(Bus drop-off at nearby Sacramento International Airport following the tour was available depending on need.)
Alternative departure from the tour on Friday, April 22, in the Fresno area was also available.
Regular Price – $949 (one person, single-occupancy room)
Early Bird Price – $899 if you registered online by March 11.
Fee included all tour meals, transportation, materials, snacks and hotel accommodations once the tour began. Participants were responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour’s beginning and end point.
The Foundation continued to monitor developments with COVID-19 and anticipated low levels of infection rates by the tour start date based on projections available.
Precautions implemented during the tour included enhanced sanitation protocols, a mask requirement aboard the motorcoach and encouraged mask use within indoor spaces, and a modified agenda/itinerary to maximize the use of outdoor/open-air space when possible.
Despite these mitigating circumstances, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any place where people gather. All participants should consider their personal choices around harm reduction and risk tolerance in the face of current variants and the likelihood of additional variants emerging in the future.
Acceptance of an assumption of risk waiver was required during registration for the tour.
We asked participants not to attend if, within 72 hours of the tour start date, they experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the CDC).
Regardless of vaccination status, participants provided proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the tour start date IF they tested positive or were exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 5 days of the tour start date.
Deadline to cancel and receive a refund was three weeks prior to the first day of the tour due to hotel, meal and transportation commitments. Substitutions were allowed up to five business days before the tour. Eventbrite fees were nonrefundable and the remaining amount were subject to an additional 10% processing fee.
We recognize that unexpected conflicts with our tours can occur from time to time. The Water Education Foundation recommends considering arranging travel insurance from a provider of your choice soon after tour registration to protect against such unfortunate events.
Continuing education credits were available for attorneys for an additional fee, and may be available for water plant/wastewater plant operators and other vocations/professions.