Category Archives: updates

Reflecting on 2021, Welcoming 2022

Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2022

By Jessica Law

When I started as the new Water Forum Executive Director a year ago, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into. As life would have it, 2021 was full of surprises. I am incredibly proud of the work we accomplished together in 2021—even with the continued challenges and disruption posed by COVID-19 and the sudden emergence of a drought emergency.

Here are just a few of my favorite highlights from the year:

Strong coordination and open communication with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: The sudden emergence of a drought emergency in 2021 put tremendous pressure on our federal and state partners working to balance the water supply and environmental needs of the statewide water system. The Water Forum worked closely with Reclamation to reduce impacts to our local water supplies and the health of the Lower American River. One critical measure was a Memorandum of Understanding with Reclamation to preserve cold water in Folsom Reservoir for fall Chinook salmon run. This included setting a storage planning goal of 200,000 acre-feet by end of September. Though challenging to achieve, Reclamation indeed hit the mark.

Cutting-edge science: One of the Water Forum’s essential roles in 2021 was to monitor how drought conditions in the Lower American River impacted the health of steelhead trout and fall-run Chinook salmon (salmonids). Water Forum consultant Cramer Fish Sciences-Genidaqs Laboratory deployed a newer monitoring process, known as an environmental DNA (eDNA) survey, to confirm if salmonids were present in the river. This was augmented with underwater video monitoring to provide visual cues to locate and identify fish. The results provided important insight to support both short-term flow decisions and long-term adaptive management.

Habitat restoration project and partnership with the Effie Yeaw Nature Center: After a year delay due to COVID-19, we implemented an outstanding project at Ancil Hoffman Park in Carmichael, laying 15,800 cubic yards of clean gravel into the flowing Lower American River for spawning and creating a 1,000-foot long alcove for rearing. This project could not have been accomplished without the incredible construction crew at the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Erica Bishop, the Water Forum’s new (extraordinary!) project manager, provided seamless leadership and expertise. Also, a huge “thank you” to John Hannon, Reclamation, and the entire consultant team, which included cbec eco engineering, GEI, IN Communications and MMS Strategies. Our partnership with Effie Yeaw Nature Center continues to grow and we are looking forward to the opening of a new salmon exhibit in 2022.

Reinvigorating the Water Forum’s Public Caucus: In 2021, we began to build on insight shared during the Water Forum’s 20th Anniversary Climate Symposium, which spotlighted environmental justice and equity, and climate change’s impacts on sensitive communities. Our reinvigorated Public Caucus brings new and diverse voices to the Water Forum 2.0 negotiations to help shape the Water Forum’s vision and work for the next 30 years.

Partnership with the Regional Water Authority (RWA): Throughout 2021, the Water Forum and RWA, which marked its 20th anniversary last year, worked together to advocate for increasing conservation and shifting to groundwater to reduce pressure on the American River environment. This included a joint opinion piece urging conservation by Water Forum members Ralph Propper of ECOS and Tom Gray of the Fair Oaks Water District published in the Sacramento Bee. I am also proud of our joint advocacy work focused on raising the American River region’s profile with state and federal policymakers and leaders.

Supporting the development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans: The Water Forum played an important supporting role in the region’s path toward groundwater sustainability by supporting the Consumnes Groundwater SGMA Working Group and potential merger of the Sacramento Groundwater Authority and Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority. Thanks to these organizations, three Groundwater Sustainability Plans were developed—roadmaps for sustainably managing the American River region’s groundwater basins over the next 20 years.

A solid foundation for Water Forum 2.0 negotiations: In spite of the challenges caused by COVID-19 and a drought emergency, we came together as Water Forum members and partners to identify many of the core issues facing the region’s water supply reliability and the health of the Lower American River. And if we learned one thing last year, it’s that climate change is already here and impacting our work on a day-to-day basis. Much of Phase 1 in 2021 focused on establishing a shared understanding about the issues that will impact the final Agreement such as climate change, fisheries, and the interaction between groundwater and surface water. We also developed and shared caucus interest statements to identify alignment.

In 2022, we will work together to further define and frame how climate change will impact the coequal objectives and the region through plenary meetings, information sessions and tours, and working groups.

In addition, our habitat and science work in the next year will expand significantly. In 2022, the Water Forum will undertake two new habitat projects—at Upper Sailor Bar and Nimbus Basin. Our science program will launch a new, two-year grant-funded effort to monitor fish returning to the river. The project, funded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will utilize genetics research that can connect salmon and steelhead returning to the Lower American River to the Water Forum’s habitat restoration sites on the river.

Water Forum members have a proud history of working in partnership even under the most challenging circumstances. This is an important part of the “Water Forum Way” and foundation for all that we accomplished together in 2021, and path to addressing whatever surprise comes our way in 2022.

Drought Report Offers Sobering Assessment and Call to Action

Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2021

By Jessica Law

Folsom Lake, 2014 (Photo Credit: CA DWR)

The Water Forum has been working closely with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to coordinate a response to drought conditions and reduce impacts to regional water supplies and the health of the Lower American River.

We recently welcomed Kristin White, Operations Manager for Reclamation’s Central Valley Project, to provide an update on drought conditions in California and across the Western United States at the Water Forum Drought Plenary. What she shared was both stark and sobering. It was a glimpse into the problems facing federal and state water managers during this extraordinarily challenging water year.

And she also offered a call to action—a role for all of us to play in reducing water use—as federal and state agencies continue their work to prepare for potentially devastating water supply conditions that could result from continued drought in 2022.

Here are some of the key points Kristin shared during her presentation.

Conditions in the American River Region

In the Sacramento region, 2021 is the third driest year on record for Folsom inflow and the center for major snowpack loss. “What hit us so hard this year was the loss of our snowpack,” Kristin said. The snowpack was deeper this winter than in the drought years of 2014-15 but only a fraction of its runoff made its way into creeks and rivers.

Kristin explained that in normal years, most reservoirs start with low storage at the beginning of the water year (which runs October 1-September 30), increase to a peak storage in the spring and then end low. This year, Folsom started low and will end even lower, noting that peak storage at Folsom this water year occurred on October 1, 2020.

On the other hand, Kristin noted that Folsom has a “very high refill potential,” and there’s a “decent chance” that Folsom will be able to recover to “decent storage” next year even if the weather remains dry into 2022.

Second Driest Year in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Watersheds

This year has been the second driest year on record in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds since the development of the Central Valley and State Water Projects, second only to 1977, Kristin said. Putting this into perspective: The state’s major reservoirs—Shasta, Oroville, Trinity, Folsom and New Melones—held 10 million acre feet of water (MAF) on October1, 2019. Those reservoirs are expected to collectively hold less than 4 MAF of water by October 1, 2021.

Shasta generally represents about a third of total storage for the statewide system. In 2021 Shasta inflow was the driest on record—about 200 thousand acre feet (TAF) worse than in 1977 and 250 TAF worse than in 2014. In addition, Oroville, which has a slower refill rate than Folsom, is at record low levels.

To help relieve pressure on Folsom, Oroville and Shasta this summer, Reclamation for the first time in history was able to draw upon New Melones to meet Delta outflow and water quality regulatory requirements. This was possible because new Melones started relatively high. However, storage levels are now less than we had going into 2014.

Disappearing Snowpack not Limited to California

Across the Western United States, drought conditions cover more than 93 percent of the land in seven Western states with nearly 59 percent of the area experiencing extreme or exceptional drought. This is the highest coverage this century and includes all of Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and most of Utah.

The Colorado Basin, which serves around 40 million people, is experiencing its 22nd year of drought and earlier this summer, the reservoirs hit their lowest levels since they were originally filled. The entire state of Idaho is in a moderate to exceptional drought, and March through June were among the driest on record. To make things worse, June and July have been among the hottest on record. Boise broke heat records in June beyond the two previous worst years of 1876 and 2015.

One key component shared by most of the large western water systems: relying on snowpack as the largest reservoir. The disappearing snowpack experienced in the American River watershed occurred in most of the basins, Kristin said. The Upper Colorado Basin, for example, saw around average snowpack with only 26 percent of average runoff.

“We Need Everyone to Help”

With minimal storage going into winter, continued dry weather into 2022 would be “devastating,” Kristin said. On July 8, 2021, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order calling on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent compared to 2020 levels. Both Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources are working on emergency planning but will need help from all Californians to conserve the limited water supplies that are available. “We will not be able to get through a dry 2022 alone—we just won’t have the storage,” she said. “We will need everyone, all of California, to step up and help prepare for what could be a devastating year.”


Reclamation selects Levi Johnson for Central Valley Operations Deputy Manager

Congratulations to Reclamation’s Levi Johnson, who was recently named Deputy Manager for the Central Valley Operations Office.

Levi works closely with Water Forum stakeholders and other federal, state, and local agencies; water and power users; the environmental community; and stakeholders to deliver efficient and equitable water solutions. The Water Forum team looks forward to continuing our work together!

Water Forum Names Jessica Law as Executive Director

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2020

The Water Forum is pleased to announce the selection of Jessica Law as its new Executive Director.
The Water Forum is a diverse group of local governments, environmentalists, water managers, businesses and others working together to balance the coequal goals of providing reliable water supplies for the Sacramento region and preserving the environment of the Lower American River.
Law brings more than 15 years of experience in water and environmental resource management, public process, and land use planning. For the past 13 years, she has been heavily engrossed in working closely with experts in water management, fisheries biology, ecosystem restoration, engineering, environmental law and economics to guide decisions on complex projects and programs.
“Jessica’s expertise in the field of water and the skill sets needed to be successful in the Executive Director position are unmatched,” said Tom Gohring, who will be retiring as Water Forum Executive Director in 2021.
Law is currently serving as the Chief Deputy Executive Officer of the Delta Stewardship Council, established by the California legislature in 2009 to advance the state’s coequal objectives of water supply reliability and ecosystem health in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

For the past five years, she has led critical conversations and strategic planning to strengthen the Council’s partnerships with state and federal agencies. Law has successfully increased the amount of funding for state agencies and non-profit groups to plan for and create permitting efficiencies for ecosystem restoration projects. Through the Council’s partnerships with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Geological Survey, she supported the Council’s efforts to issue over $25 million in competitive funding for science over the past two years. Her focus also has included tackling critical issues like climate vulnerability and equity and bringing together diverse interests around a common cause.
“It is my privilege to be joining the Water Forum at such a critical juncture in its history,” Law said. “Over the past 20 years, the Water Forum has accomplished a tremendous amount of work to achieve the coequal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem health. As climate change accelerates, not only will there be a new set of obstacles to navigate, but those obstacles will be coming at us faster, and in unpredictable ways.
“I am committed to bringing the best available science to the table in order to understand the obstacles and the depth of their risk, and to working diligently, creatively, and with a sense of urgency to implement solutions that will make real change,” Law said.
Law holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology (Ecology) from Connecticut College and a master’s in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The Sacramento Water Forum is a diverse group of business and agricultural leaders, citizen groups, environmentalists, water managers and local governments working together to balance two co-equal objectives: to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region’s long-term growth and economic health; and to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River. Learn more at

New Partnership Nurtures Young Scientists to Care for the American River

Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

CARMICHAEL— Elana, a first grader at Elder Creek Elementary School in Sacramento, dipped the litmus paper into the river as her classmate, Jason, held a thermometer in the water. The other children watching closely along the water’s edge, the young scientists learned how to test the river’s pH and temperature, both of which are critical to supporting salmon and steelhead that rely on the lower American River.

The lesson is part of a new partnership between the Sacramento Water Forum and Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael to enhance environmental education for underserved elementary schools in the Sacramento region.

A favorite location for teachers throughout the greater Sacramento area, the Nature Center provides education programs to kids from kindergarten through 8th grade and takes care of the 77-acre nature preserve located in Ancil Hoffman Park. The Water Forum represents a diverse group of water providers, local governments and environmentalists focused on safeguarding the Lower American River for both drinking water and wildlife.

“Many students may not realize how important water is in our ecosystem and that it sustains all forms of life,” said Effie Yeaw Nature Center Executive Director Torey Byington. “Our partnership with the Water Forum allows students to receive a one-of-a-kind nature experience that exposes them to the scientific principles and understanding that are keys to forming a relationship with our natural community—both to protect it and share it with others.”

With support from the Water Forum and a Sacramento County grant, the center’s Urban Nature Program was enriched to include more hands-on discussions about where water comes from, where it goes and why rivers are important; water quality and its effects on salmon; and ways to protect the lower American River from pollution.

The ultimate goal is to help students understand the importance of water to our community and environment, nurture a deeper connection to the river and inspire budding young scientists, said Water Forum Executive Director Tom Gohring. “Part of the Water Forum mission is to care for the lower American River and the American River Parkway,” Gohring said. “This partnership is helping us instill the value of the natural world, and specifically the American River, into our next generation of citizens, educators and civic leaders.”

To learn more about the Urban Nature Partnership Program or other educational programs offered at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, visit 

Listen to KFBK New Radio interview Water Forum scientist Lilly Allen about the Urban Nature Partnership Program

The Sacramento Water Forum is a diverse group of business and agricultural leaders, citizen groups, environmentalists, water managers and local governments working together to balance two co-equal objectives: to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region’s long-term growth and economic health; and to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River. Learn more at

The Effie Yeaw Nature Center (a community service of the American River Natural History Association) provides nature education programs to kids from kindergarten through 8th grade, as well as evening classes for adults, and takes care of the 77-acre nature preserve located in Ancil Hoffman Park in Carmichael. Built in 1976, the Nature Center honors the work done by Effie Yeaw (1900-1970) who connected thousands of children with nature at the location now protected as a nature preserve. Each year nearly 100,000 residents, including many families with young children, walk the nature center trails and enjoy the quiet natural area, which extends from the oak woodland to the lower American River. Learn more at

MLK Day at Cordova Creek, a new tradition?

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2019
A misty morning at Cordova Creek with a couple clouds. We set out 90 plants for volunteers to put in the ground.
Volunteers gathered at the trailhead to learn about the land's history and to be oriented to the day's tasks.


This past Monday, January 21st we had our 2nd Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day at Cordova Creek.  It was a fabulously beautiful and productive day –   under sunny skies,  30+ volunteers planted almost 100 new native plants, protected many more of the existing shrubs and young trees with deer cages, and cleared weeds in planting areas. 

The Water Forum partnered with Sacramento County Regional Parks to organize a day of service at the Cordova Creek naturalization site, giving the community a chance to play a part in the incredible transformation of this land. 

We planted . . . 

Narowleaf Milkweed,  Coyote Mint,  Snowberry,  Chaparral Honeysuckle,  Hollyleaf Redberry,  Coyote Brush,  Hoary Coffeeberry,  Rock Phacelia, Sticky Monkeyflower,  Gaping Penstemon,  Toyon,  Mountain Mahogany,  and  Brickle Bush

all grown just across the creek by California Native Plant Society volunteers at Elderberry Farms.

Come see them grow!

These two worked long and hard installing protective cages for our young plants.

High Flows at Nimbus Basin

Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Interested in the high flows over December in Nimbus Basin? So are we. Thankfully, Reclamation used their last aerial flight to capture 35,000 cfs on the LAR. The files are gigantic and somewhat painful to stitch together, shrink, and upload, but here is a great shot I had to share. I’ve paired it with pre and post-project photos to remind everyone what it has looked like under all that water. We hope to spend time this year assessing what has happened to our restoration sites and discuss returning next year.


Water Forum Agreement Update

Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The Water Forum Agreement was updated in October 2015 by the key stakeholders and signatories that make up the Water Forum in order to maintain an Agreement that is relevant and useful. The Water Forum Agreement – October 2015 Update includes:

  • Amendments
  • Status Updates
  • Minor Corrections


  • Changes to the Agreement approved by the Water Forum decision process
  • Indicates an official change to the wording and intent
  • Represented by red strikeout and red text

Status Updates

  • Provide reader with context
  • Do not change the Agreement, but provide clarity
  • Represented by blue-line text inside a blue box

Minor Edits

  • Grammatical corrections or name changes
  • Do not affect the Agreement
  • Represented in blue-line and strikeout text

    Water Forum Agreement – October 2015 Updates Flipbook

As new amendments to the Agreement are approved, we will insert them into this version. Likewise, we will strive to keep the status updates current with the most recent developments.

To read an overview of the changes and amendments to the Water Forum Agreement, click here.

To view the full updated document or individual chapters, please visit the Water Forum Agreement webpage.


The Water Forum Team

High Flows Expected in LAR

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Due to high inflow into Folsom Reservoir, Reclamation has begun increasing flows down the Lower American River. They plan on going from 1,200 cfs (Dec 11) to 35,000 cfs (Dec 15). The last time flows were this high was December 2006. The change order is below.

Folsom releases from Nov 14, 2016 through Dec 14, 2016.

High Flows in Dec 2006


Date: Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 3:10 PM
Subject: Nimbus Dam – Change Order

Date                Time           From (cfs)      To (cfs)

12/15/2016       0900            15,000            20,000

12/15/2016       1000            20,000            25,000

12/15/2016       1100            25,000            30,000

12/15/2016       1200            30,000            35,000

Please route any release in excess of Power Plant capacity through the river outlets.

Comment: Storage management/flood control

Issued by: Peggy Manza

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Sacramento water agencies work together, adapting to drought and planning for a future of growth

Dr. Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, is the godfather of research on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. When he says it took John Sutter eight days to wind his way from San Francisco Bay through the Delta to find the narrow Sacramento River in 1839, you can bet that’s the truth. Not until 1913 was the mouth of the river dredged to make it a mile wide. Grizzly bears roamed the wildness, feasting on an abundance of native fish, until they were hunted to local extinction. Today in the Delta, the largest estuary on the west coast of North America, only remnants remain of the natural landscape before it was irreversibly altered at the hands of people.

The Delta is a system of canals. In places, you can stand on a man-made levee with high water on one side and sunken land on the other. For 7,000 years, sediment accumulated to form deposits of organically-rich peat soil, but the last 170 years of farming have undone this natural process. About 2,300 dump trucks worth of soil is lost per day, oxidized as carbon dioxide and all told, about half of the Delta’s soil material is now gone, says Curt Schmutte, a civil engineer who specializes in Delta issues. We named plots of land in the Delta “islands,” but scientists refer to them — the majority below sea level — as “holes.”

I’m with a tour group on a hot September afternoon, and we hold onto our hats and brace ourselves as the boat tears through the water at 40 miles per hour, past invasive water hyacinth, tules, fishermen, houseboats, farmland and cattle. The Delta accumulates water from California’s largest watershed and acts as the hub of the state’s water supply system, linking water from the north to the two biggest water projects, which play a major role in sustaining the world’s sixth largest economy and much of its industry, agriculture and 39 million people.

But the Delta exists under unrelenting pressure: from land-use change, population growth, nutrient pollution from wastewater treatment plants, earthquakes, agriculture, sea-level rise and more. Even with money, there’s no silver bullet to fix this ecosystem — but there are plenty of battling sides. “It’s like a game of chicken,” Lund says. “How do you break a game of chicken?”

Dr. Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, while on a tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (Photo by Sonya Doctorian)

Was it Mark Twain who proclaimed, “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over”? When it comes to this natural resource, our state is rife with conflict. And, perhaps, in the Sacramento region, open to resolution. While the state is all-consumed with water wars, the region’s efforts toward collaboration are easy to overlook. The best example is the landmark Water Forum Agreement, which 22 water agencies from Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties signed in 2000 to balance the environmental and human needs of the lower American River.

Now, water agencies have joined together again to launch the River Arc Project. Proponents say the project has the potential for a groundbreaking impact. It would help recharge groundwater through a management practice called “conjunctive use.” It would also allow for ongoing growth by creating an additional source of water to lessen demand on the lower American River and Folsom Lake, which already provide drinking water to 1 million residents, says Andy Fecko, director of resource development at Placer County Water Agency. “What’s unique about our region is we’re doing this before we have a crisis.”

Duking It Out Over Water

First, to understand why it’s so unusual for a story of optimism when it comes to water, we have to understand why water in California is often tied with conflict: Our water supply is limited and dispersed unevenly. And our water rights system is often deemed “byzantine” and “antiquated.”

Throughout the American West, precipitation falls in a different place than where most of us live. Early settlers realized that towns and agriculture in the frontier could only be sustained by moving water. So we built a complex system of dams, reservoirs, canals, aqueducts, pumps and tunnels. Who exactly has access to our state’s water has been a point of contention ever since. “It’s a Western pastime to argue over water rights,” says Rita Sudman, who served for 34 years as executive director of the nonprofit Water Education Foundation in Sacramento.

California has a dual water rights system when it comes to surface water. The system incorporates both riparian rights (for those who own land next to water) and prior appropriation (“first in time, first in right”). The Water Commission Act of 1914 established the permit process for obtaining surface water and formed the State Water Resources Control Board. Those legislators failed to regulate groundwater, not foreseeing what would come decades later as most of the state battles severe drought and the Central Valley sinks in places due to over-pumped aquifers. In some places throughout the state, groundwater extraction exceeds natural recharge (something the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 aims to remedy).

Bulldozers collect and rearrange gravel to improve habitat for fish in the lower American River. (Photo by Sena Christian)

Water battles led to an amendment to California’s constitution declaring that all water — surface water, groundwater, marshes and wetlands — must be for a reasonable and beneficial use, such as agriculture, commercial fishing, hydroelectric generation, municipal use, endangered species and recreation (like swimming or whitewater rafting). The definition allows for changing interpretations, and groups who perceive their interests to be in conflict — farmers, industry, environmentalists, outdoor recreationists — continually maneuver for their position to be prioritized. Arguments ensue.

Ultimately, our system works because it’s flexible, Fecko says. Californians get around labyrinthine water rights through water transfers (although experts say informal sales are inadequately tracked and come with their own problems on the open market, like skyrocketing costs for farmers whose water allotments have been curtailed). PCWA often sells surplus reservoir water to other water-strapped purveyors, which keeps rates low for its customers. The mechanisms currently in place get water to where it needs to be, Fecko says, adding, “There’s a better way to spend our time than unravel 102 years of jurisprudence.”

Areas of Agreement

The world of water districts is diffusive. We have a lot of them in California — over 1,200 and that’s only counting those elected by voters, or governed by a county board of supervisors or a city council. (That figure comes from the Legislative Analyst’s Office and is more than a decade old; other sources estimate around 2,000 districts, when including entities such as mobile home parks and mutual water companies.) The state also has 108 investor-owned water companies regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Around 25 water purveyors operate in Sacramento County. These agencies work in the same river, the same watershed, the same groundwater basin. Theoretically, this poses a problem. “They each have their own boards, politics, priorities, water sources and water rights, and ways of doing things,” says Dr. Jeff Loux, an environmental planning professor and associate dean at UC Davis Extension. “Getting them to work together is a monumental task.” But, he says, that’s what the Sacramento region has done for two decades.

“We need to plan for a 10-year drought or more. If we are not planning, then we are not planning for the world we live in with climate change,” Loux says. To be able to effectively plan, agencies need to agree on stuff. They need to collaborate. “That is, to me, the place where progress gets made,” Loux says. He points to a prime example: the Water Forum Agreement.

“We’re doing good stuff, and we have the cooperation of water suppliers in the region. It’s not their primary mission to take care of the environment, but they realize it also takes care of their primary mission, which is delivering water to their customers at the lowest possible cost.” TOM GOHRING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WATER FORUM

Member utilities provide $3.80 per water connection per year for the nonprofit organization that oversees the agreement. “For the cost of a latte per family, we get the Water Forum,” says Executive Director Tom Gohring. The agreement outlines the management of the lower American River. Fed by the Sierra Nevada, the American River is the second-largest tributary to the Sacramento River, which empties into the Delta and eventually the San Francisco Bay. But hydraulic mining during the Gold Rush and dams built along the American River dramatically changed the geology.

Read the full article here.