Each year the Water Education Foundation organizes conferences and tours so people can learn about water firsthand from experts on all sides of the issue. That’s the hallmark of all the Foundation’s programs – an opportunity to hear viewpoints from farmers and irrigation district managers; urban users, local city officials and water district managers; environmentalists, scientists and recreationists.
Panel discussions at most Foundation conferences are conducted in Q&A “talk show” format because we think that allows for a greater exchange among people with divergent viewpoints. Top officials and policymakers are regular speakers.
Tour participants have the opportunity to hear from some 30 to 40 speakers over the course of the tour, which, in some cases, cover hundreds of miles. Dams, irrigation canals, water treatment plants, rivers, wetlands, farms and cities are common stops along the way.
The Water Education Foundation’s tours offer participants a firsthand look at the water facilities, rivers and regions critical in the debate about the future of water resources. Issues of water supply, water quality, environmental restoration, flood management, groundwater and water conservation are addressed by a wide range of speakers representing different viewpoints.
Each year, the Foundation organizes conferences and workshops devoted to specific issues surrounding water. The Foundation’s annual Water Summit features speakers from stakeholder groups, the state Legislature and governmental agencies who play important roles in making policy decisions about water. Other conferences have focused on climate change, groundwater, the Delta, flood management and drought. We also host a Water 101 workshop, typically each year as well as other workshops. Some conferences are conducted in partnership with state agencies and other organizations.
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