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Water Education Foundation Water Tours

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.

The tours are praised for being balanced, thorough and fun. Participants learn about local, state and federal issues from experts on all sides. Time for socializing and networking is included in the action-packed itineraries. 

Six tours will be offered in 2008. Tour registration fee includes transportation and lodging while on the tour, meals and background materials. Attorneys can earn continuing legal education credits for an additional fee. Water plant or wastewater plant operators also can earn California Department of Health Services continuing education credits.

Registration fee

For 3-day, 2-night tours:

  • One person, single occupancy room - $625
  • Two people, double occupancy room - $1,050

For 2-day, 1-night tours:

  • One person, single occupancy room - $435
  • Two people, double occupancy room - $725

Discounts are available for registering four or more people per agency.
Attorneys can earn continuing legal education (MCLE) credit and water plant or wastewater plant operators also can earn California Department of Health Services continuing education credits for an additional charge.
NOTE: Tour stops are subject to change because of new issues and because of limited access based on potential security concerns. 

 

2008 Tour Dates:

Lower Colorado River Tour – This 3-day, 2-night tour follows the course of the lower Colorado River through Nevada, Arizona and California, and includes a private tour of Hoover Dam, a boat ride on Lake Mead, and visits to the Havasu National Wildlife refuge, farms in the Imperial and Coachella valleys, the All-American Canal lining project and the Salton Sea. Issues discussed include Colorado River drought management options, the Central Arizona Project, southern Nevada’s water needs, border issues, endangered species and tribal water rights. The tour begins in Las Vegas and ends at California’s Ontario International Airport.

Click here to register securely online for the Colorado River Tour.

Central Valley Tour – This 3-day, 2-night tour travels the length of the San Joaquin Valley, giving participants a clear understanding of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. The valley is one of the world’s top-producing agricultural regions, and one of California’s fastest growing areas. Stops include the Kern County Water Bank, the San Joaquin River, Mendota Pool, Friant Dam, San Luis National Wildlife Refuge and San Luis Reservoir. Issues of growth, water supply, groundwater banking, wetlands, salmon restoration and agricultural supply and drainage are discussed on this tour, which begins and ends in Bakersfield.

Click here to register securely online for the Central Valley Tour.

Bay-Delta Tour – This 3-day, 2-night tour takes participants to the heart of California water policy – San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Stops include the Delta Cross Channel, the federal Tracy Pumping Plant, Bay-Delta model in Sausalito, Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Suisun Marsh. Issues discussed include Delta Planning initiatives, water project operations, fish passage, ecosystem restoration, levees and flood management, Delta agriculture, drinking water quality and water supply reliability. The tour begins and ends at Sacramento International Airport, and includes a ferry ride across San Francisco Bay.

Click here to register securely online for the Bay Delta Tour.

Hetch Hetchy Valley Tour – This 3-day, 2-night tour provides a firsthand look at the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system, which stretches from O’Shaughnessy Dam on the Tuolumne River to Crystal Springs Reservoir in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tour participants will learn about how the system’s physical components; the interest in possibly restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley, a geologic twin to Yosemite Valley, to its natural state; and the capital infrastructure improvement projects underway. The tour includes visits to Sunol Water Temple, Don Pedro Dam and O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The tour begins and ends in San Mateo.

Click here to register securely online for the Hetch Hetchy Valley Tour.

Northern California Tour – This 3-day, 2-night tour travels the length of the Sacramento Valley, a major source of water for California. Stops include Oroville and Shasta dams, Red Bluff Diversion Dam, the Feather River Fish Hatchery and Spring Creek Debris Dam and Iron Mountain Mine Superfund site. Other highlights: dinner by the river and a houseboat cruise on Shasta Reservoir. Participants learn about the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, coordinated CVP-SWP operations, farming, groundwater management and conjunctive use and salmon restoration. The tour begins and ends at Sacramento International Airport.

Click here to register securely online for the Northern California Tour.

Russian River Tour – This 2-day, 1-night tour explores conflicting needs in one of the most beautiful watersheds in California – the Russian River. The river is a microcosm of challenges facing western rivers today: flood management; adequate supplies for agricultural and urban areas; instream flows for fish; wastewater discharge and water quality; recreation needs; recycled water use and energy production. Highlights include a visit to a winery. The tour begins and ends in Santa Rosa.

Click here to register securely online for the Russian River Tour.

San Joaquin River Restoration Tour – This 2-day, 1-night tour explores challenges associated with restoration of the San Joaquin River, the focus of one of the most contentious battles in California history. Now that a settlement has been reached, how will the dry portions of the San Joaquin River be restored to bring back a healthy run of salmon? This tour takes participants to see salmon runs on restored sections of the adjacent Merced River, proposed channels for re-watering, diversion structures and set-back levees on various reaches of the river. The tour begins and ends in Fresno.

Click here to register securely online for the San Joaquin River Restoration Tour.

Customized Tours - Need a special one or two-day tour for your group? Then call the Foundation staff! We can design and conduct a customized tour for your group. Past special tours have been organized for the Great Valley Center, the USC Knight Ridder School of Journalism and international visiting water experts. Contact Tour Director Judy Maben, 916-444-6240, for more details.

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Contact the Water Education Foundation for a free tours brochure, telephone (916) 444-6240, dfarmer@watereducation.org.

What do participants like about the tours?
  • "Having speakers on the bus - this was a great way to answer questions but keep moving"
  • "Access to behind the scenes stuff"
  • "After this trip, I realize that there is nothing like seeing for yourself and hearing all the viewpoints directly."
  • The interaction among the urban, environmental, and agricultural speakers and participants."
  • "Easily one of the best educational activities I have participated in."
  • "Central California Tour should be a 'must-attend' for water managers."
  • "Every minute of the carefully planned program added to my understanding of the issues."
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