Seeking the source

Most of EBMUD’s drinking water makes an incredible journey to arrive at our taps. As drought and climate change generate renewed interest in where our water comes from, some people are taking extraordinary steps to seek the source.

We’ve been following adventurers tracing the entire length of the Mokelumne River, EBMUD’s primary water supply, flowing from the Sierra Nevada. These “water walkers” seek a more personal connection with this life-giving resource that allows us to thrive back home. Through media coverage, social media posts and educational outreach, they are calling attention to the value of our water supplies, conservation and responsible watershed management. 

An EBMUD water walk involves an arduous trek through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, across the Central Valley and beyond Pardee Reservoir to track the snow-fed Mokelumne high into the Sierras. It’s a 200-plus-mile journey, and in many places there is no clear, public path to follow.

Although such expeditions are out of reach for most, they can inspire other connections with our water sources and the natural environment we all depend upon. Perhaps this can come by way of a camping trip in the Mokelumne watershed, or a hike along a section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. Closer to home, EBMUD terminal reservoirs such as San Pablo and Upper San Leandro offer recreational opportunities and trails to connect with water carried down from the Mokelumne and collected locally during winter rains.

Have you taken a water walk? In what ways have you developed a greater appreciation for the water we enjoy? Share your experiences and photos with us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #waterwalk.



Learn about EBMUD’s many recreational opportunities, download trail maps, purchase trail permits and more at


Water Walkers

Nina Gordon-Kirsch and John Silva will discuss their recent Mokelumne adventures during EBMUD’s Water Wednesday webinar in November. To view the recording, visit, or go directly to the Water Wednesday playlist on our YouTube channel.