Irrigation districts have many distinctive legal needs, both those related to water rights and the regulations incumbent on organizations that deal with environmental topics and those related to employee issues, real estate, contracts, and a variety of other legal issues. That means that a lawyer who specializes in working with irrigation districts and water companies needs a wide variety of skills and experiences. In this interview, Larry Martin, an attorney with Halverson Northwest Law Group, tells us about his long experience in water law and the gamut of skills needed to be an effective water lawyer.
Several years ago, recognizing that few insurers had a dedicated proprietary form for water entities, the insurance company Allied Public Risk created the WaterPlus program. It provides both property and liability insurance to about 3,000 water-related entities around the nation, including water districts, water authorities, sanitation and wastewater facilities, irrigation entities, and special-purpose districts. In this interview, George Pappas, a senior vice president for distribution at Allied Public Risk, tells Irrigation Leader about the advantages of WaterPlus and the many factors an irrigation entity should consider when choosing a policy.
The Madera Irrigation District (MID) is one of many districts that have recognized the need to update their metering sites by replacing old turnout meters with new technology. The MID, which encompasses an area of approximately 139,665 acres in the Central Valley of California, operates a primarily gravity irrigation distribution system with approximately 300 miles of open-flow canal systems and 150 miles of large-diameter pipelines. It is a public agency whose mission is to obtain and manage affordable surface water and groundwater supplies and ensure the long-term viability of irrigated agriculture in its service area. The MID’s water is sourced from surrounding lakes and mountain diversion contracts. The water is…
After the recent catastrophic failure of one of the Milk River Project’s drop structures, the Bureau of Reclamation worked intensively with the Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC), the State of Montana, the Blackfeet Tribe, and other stakeholders to plan for a permanent repair to the structure. In this interview, Steve Davies, the manager of Reclamation’s Montana area office, tells Irrigation Leader about the close collaboration that went into a successful, timely repair and shares the wisdom he has gained over 35 years at Reclamation.
When drop 5 on the St. Mary Unit of the Milk River Project failed in May 2020, a large group of stakeholders, including the Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC), the Bureau of Reclamation, and the State of Montana came together to address the problem and repair the structure. Montana’s delegation to Congress— Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Congressman Greg Gianforte—also played a key role in coordinating efforts and pushing forward legislation to address the situation. In this interview, we speak with Senators Daines and Tester and Congressman Gianforte, who was recently elected governor of Montana, about their involvement in the drop 5 reconstruction and their legislative…
On May 17, 2020, a drop structure on the Milk River Project, which conveys water to the Milk River in Montana’s Hi-Line Region, failed catastrophically, eliminating or significantly reducing irrigation water flows across the Milk River basin. The Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC), the State of Montana, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other stakeholders immediately sprang into action, assessing the site, modifying existing plans, and beginning construction in August. By early October, water was flowing through the project’s infrastructure once again. In this interview, MRJBOC Program Manager Jennifer Patrick and Marko Manoukian, the Montana State University extension agent in Phillips County and the local chairperson for the St.…
Assura Software, based in Christchurch, New Zealand, aims to help businesses automate their everyday manual processes. Its software platform combines the configurability of a bespoke solution with the ease and assurance of an off-the-shelf product. In this interview, Hamish Howard, Assura’s CEO and managing director, speaks with Irrigation Leader about how the company’s solution can increase data security, reduce injuries, and help maintain social distance in the workplace.
Don Sussman founded the company Know CPR after participating in a CPR course he found to be overly expensive and ineffective in imparting the knowledge and skills that can be essential to saving the life of a family member, friend, colleague, or even a stranger. Some 20 years later, Know CPR is successfully providing CPR, automated external defibrillator (AED), and first aid skills to people around the nation in an informative and affordable manner. In this interview, Mr. Sussman tells Irrigation Leader about his company’s services and how it is successfully adapting to remote classes in the COVID19 era.
Phil Ball is a longtime police officer and the founder and lead instructor of the Situational Awareness Institute (SAI), a security training company. In this interview, Mr. Ball covers the many facets of security preparation that irrigation districts should carry out, including crisis communication training, the installation of security cameras and panic buttons, the preparation of emergency plans, and the establishment of relationships with local fire and law enforcement agencies.
The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) is the trade association that represents Nebraska’s 23 natural resources districts (NRDs), local agencies that handle water quantity and quality issues, soil-erosion control, flood prevention, and other environmental concerns across the state. On the night of Saturday, May 30, 2020, the NARD’s Lincoln, Nebraska, headquarters were destroyed by arsonists, resulting in approximately a quarter million dollars’ worth of personal property damage. In this interview, NARD Executive Director Dean Edson tells Irrigation Leader about how the organization is recovering from this event and the lessons it holds for other agencies.