The only thing predictable about California’s climate is its unpredictability and variability.
Large parts of the state feature a Mediterranean climate with wet winters and long, dry summers. The presence or absence of just a few large storms in California can make the difference between an above-average water year and a drought. Climate change threatens California through more extreme events – hotter, longer droughts and severe storms that strain the existing flood management system.
Our one-year Water Leaders program gets you out of the office and into the field – whether it’s on one of our water tours to the Delta or the lower Colorado River, or meeting with your assigned mentor.
Mentors play an important role in the program as they conduct a shadow day with class members and help to shape ideas for the class project on a key water topic. The project is turned into a report with policy recommendations that is presented to the Water Education Foundation’s Board of Directors toward the end of the year.
Members of our popular Water Leaders program increase their knowledge of the state’s most precious natural resource while creating fond memories spent on water tours and at events with their classmates and working on the team project.
The yearly class began at the Water Education Foundation in 1997. Now, 20 years later we are hosting a Water Leaders reunion as part of our 40th Anniversary celebration Oct. 26 in Sacramento.
A few tickets are still available for our Nov. 1-2 San Joaquin River Restoration Tour, a once-a-year educational opportunity to see the program’s progress first-hand. The tour begins and ends in Fresno with an overnight stay in Los Banos.
The Water Education Foundation opened its doors in 1977 when California was in the second year of a major drought, and it quickly became a vital source of nonpartisan, in-depth information about water resources in California and the West.
Over the years, the Foundation has provided a vast repertoire of news, educational materials and programs designed to increase awareness about water, including tours of key watersheds, workshops, a quarterly magazine, Western Water, and Project WET (Water Education for Teachers).
When the Water Education Foundation first produced its iconic California water map in 1979, a side of beef donated by a rancher was raffled off at a major water conference to help fund its creation. Today, the maps are displayed at highway rest stops and offices up and down the state.
The hot water topic back in 1982 was the Peripheral Canal. When the Foundation first wrote about the proposal for Western Water magazine, some 10,000 extra copies were sold at 35 cents each.
Explore more than 100 miles of Central California’s longest river while learning about one of the nation’s largest and costliest river restorations. Our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour on Nov. 1-2 will feature speakers from key governmental agencies and stakeholder groups who will explain the restoration program’s goals and progress.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin are the two major rivers in the Central Valley that feed the Delta, the hub of California’s water supply network.
Our last two water tours of 2017 will take in-depth looks at how these rivers are managed and used for agriculture, cities and the environment. You’ll see infrastructure, learn about efforts to restore salmon runs and talk to people with expertise on these rivers.
Each year, participants on the Northern California Water Tour enjoy three days exploring the Sacramento Valley during the temperate fall. Join us as we travel along the Sacramento and Feather rivers through a scenic landscape and learn about issues associated with storing and delivering the state’s water supply.
In the Summer 2017 issue of Western Water, “Now Comes the Hard Part: Building Sustainable Groundwater Management in California,” Writer Gary Pitzer looks into the efforts of agencies beginning the task of bringing their basins to a level of sustainability in accordance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). California’s landmark 2014 law aims to repair the effects of decades of unmanaged groundwater pumping, which have left some parts of the state in “critical” overdraft.
What is groundwater? Where does it occur in California? What is an aquifer? What is overdraft? And how can groundwater be managed? These are all important things to understand in a state where 40 percent of the water supply comes from underground.
But what does an aquifer look like? And how is water extracted for use on farms and in homes? Those questions are illustrated on the Foundation’s beautiful California Groundwater Map poster, which was updated and re-designed earlier this year.
The Sierra Nevada mountains are dotted with orange and brown patches of dead trees. The U.S. Forest Service estimates with aerial surveys that more than 100 million trees have died in California this decade, 62 million dying in 2016 alone.
What is groundwater? Where does it occur in California? What is an aquifer? What is overdraft? And how can groundwater be managed? These are all terms in the news as the state moves forward with implementation of the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
If you haven’t already heard, the Water Education Foundation is turning 40 this year!
We are celebrating in style on Oct. 26 in Sacramento, with the added bonus of a special reunion aimed at graduates of our Water Leaders program, which is celebrating its own 20th birthday.
Registration is coming soon but you or your organization can sponsor this special event now and secure seats at this limited capacity event. The highest sponsorship level secures a full table of 10 seats.