Educational Resources

California Virtual Water Tour

There is no other state where water and economic development is so tight than in California. Since the gold rush, water has been the engine that has promoted economic and social development in the state. Water is still a precious resource in California; however, by nature, the distribution of water and ecosystems across the state are highly variable, from glaciers in Mount Shasta and high snowfall in Northern California to almost no precipitation in the Mojave desert in Southern California. Furthermore, water infrastructure conveys water across different regions, connecting the resources and issues across the state. This Virtual Tour will provide short presentations or Stops on the physical aspects and current issues for 16 regions as it relates to water in California. Click on the links below to view the presentations.

Tuolumne Meadows Virtual Hike

Tuolumne Meadows, located at 8500 ft in Yosemite National Park, is an iconic example of a high-elevation Sierra Nevada meadow system. Part of the headwaters of the Tuolumne River watershed, the broad U-shaped valley is surrounded by granitic domes and peaks shaped by past glacial processes. The Tuolumne River winds through the meadow complex, fed by snowmelt from permanent snowfields on Mt. Dana and Mt. Lyell. This virtual hike takes you along the Tuolumne River through the main Tuolumne Meadow complex. The hike begins on top of Lembert Dome, with a view overlooking the meadow complex. From there you can jump down to the hike along the river, which starts at stop 1 upstream of the Highway 120 and extends for approximately 3 miles downstream to the base of the meadow at stop 49. An interpretive trail with informative videos that are based on the real interpretive trail signs located in the park can be found between stops 10 and 24.

California Water Myths

In collaboration with the Public Policy Institute of California and other researchers, the Center prepared California Water Myths—a report highlighting eight common water myths, focusing on water supply, ecosystems and legal and governance issues. In providing information to combat these myths, the study establishes a more informed approach to water policy and management in California.

California Water Primer

The following books and readings will provide a very good understanding of general water issues in California. We don't endorse everything they say, but most educated water wonks in California will have read most of them.