Explore 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, 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 is the focus of this tour.
This year’s tour comes while the river is undergoing extraordinary and historic turmoil, and during the centennial of the 1922 Colorado River Compact. The compact divided the river’s watershed into two basins, established the water allotment for each basin and provided a framework for management of the river.
Already plagued by more than 20 years of drought, officials and water users are experiencing unprecedented conditions fueled by climate change. A poor snowpack and extreme dryness have sent Lake Powell and Lake Mead plunging to record low elevations, prompting the first-ever shortage to occur in 2022. Despite Drought Contingency Plans enacted just a few years ago, experts agree urgent actions will be required before the current set of operating guidelines expire in 2026.
This 3-day, 2-night tour journeys along the Lower Colorado River from Hoover Dam and Lake Mead to the Salton Sea and the Coachella Valley, including a boat trip through scenic Topock Gorge. Along the way, experts will discuss challenges related to what is the most contested, beloved for recreation and meticulously managed river in the United States.
“This tour was so well put together. You guys did a spectacular job. The topics were relevant, the speakers good, the other participants fun and knowledgeable. You could offer consulting services on how to do tours!”
“I highly recommend this tour to others. I feel this coming-together is very important to the future of water cooperation in California and the West. The tour helped me meet water users that I knew vaguely, and turned them into real people with real issues and real lives.”
“Great range of speakers. Great to meet fellow tour participants. Interesting locations to visit. Intensive (in a good way).”
The tour starts at 7:30 a.m. on March 16 in Las Vegas and ends at the Ontario International Airport in California at 6:30 p.m. on March 18.
There is a ticket option called the “California Option,” which is an inclusive ticket that starts and ends the tour in California. It is designed for state agency employees, but is open to any participant who wants transportation the day before the tour from Ontario Airport in Southern California to Las Vegas on March 15 and a hotel room that same night in Las Vegas. The additional cost of transit and your hotel on the night of March 15 are included in this ticket. Contact Nick Gray with any questions.
Fee includes all meals, transportation, materials, snacks and hotel accommodations once the tour begins. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour’s beginning and end point.
Appropriate COVID-19 protocols will be followed during the tour. Details will be made available when registration opens.
Deadline to cancel and receive a refund is three weeks prior to the first day of the tour due to hotel, meal and transportation commitments. Substitutions are allowed up to five business days before the tour. Eventbrite fees are nonrefundable and the remaining amount may be 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 you consider arranging travel insurance from a provider of your choice soon after tour registration to protect against such unfortunate events.
Continuing education credits are available for California attorneys for an additional fee, and may be available for water plant/wastewater plant operators and other vocations/professions.