Irrigation Leader
  • Featured,  Interview

    From Wood to Fiberglass and Lined Concrete: The Naches-Selah Irrigation District’s Infrastructure Updates

    The Naches-Selah Irrigation District (NSID) serves around 11,000 acres in the foothills of the eastern slope of the Cascades. Its history dates back to the late 19th century—and in some cases, so does its infrastructure. Up until a few years ago, the NSID had extensive stretches of wood-stave pipes and wood-trestle flumes in its system. Since around 2005, it has made a concerted effort to replace those structures with modern infrastructure made of fiberglass pipe, lined concrete canals, and other materials. In this interview, NSID Manager Justin Harter tells Irrigation Leader about the NSID’s impressive modernization efforts. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    Irrigation in Portugal and in Europe as a Whole

    José Nuncio plays an important role in irrigation both in Portugal and on the wider European level. Within Portugal, he is the president of the Sorraia Valley Irrigators and Water Users Association (Associação de Regantes e Beneficiários do Vale do Sorraia, ARBVS) as well as the president of the National Federation of Portuguese Irrigators (Federação Nacional de Regantes de Portugal, FENAREG), and the director of the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers. On the European level, he is the president of Irrigators of Europe (Irrigants d’Europe, IE), an international association of irrigation water management entities. In this interview, he tells Irrigation Leader about the ARBVS, the broader landscape of Portuguese irrigation, and…

  • Featured,  Interview

    How the Ebro Hydrographic Confederation and Other River Basin Authorities Manage Spain’s Water Resources

    The territory of Spain is divided among nine river basin authorities known as hydrographic confederations (HCs), which control and manage major water infrastructure, water-related public property, and hydrological planning within their respective areas. The HCs control and operate large state-owned reservoirs and canals that deliver water to local irrigation communities (districts) and other users. One of the largest of the confederations is the Ebro HC, which manages the Ebro River basin, located in northeastern Spain. In this interview, Ramón Lúquez, the Ebro HC’s deputy technical director and operations manager, tells Irrigation Leader about Spain’s basin-based water resources management system and the activities of his agency. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    How the Spanish Government Funds Irrigation Modernization

    The State Society for Agricultural Infrastructure (Sociedad Estatal de Infraestructuras Agrarias, SEIASA) is the agency that funds irrigation modernization projects across Spain. The agency is mandated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food to help finance various modernization projects in irrigation communities (which are similar to U.S. irrigation districts) across Spain that have been declared to be in the general interest. It generally advances half of the total cost of these projects and holds title to the systems constructed until its initial investment is paid back, 50 years later. In its 20 years of existence, SEIASA has facilitated the investment of more than 2 billion euros ($2.37 billion) in…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Adolfo Nieto of the Orellana Canal Irrigation Community: Modernizing a Spanish Irrigation District

    The Orellana Canal Irrigation Community (Comunidad de Regantes del Canal de Orellana, CRCO) is a sizable irrigation district in the arid central-western Spanish region of Extremadura. Over the past few years, it has used funds from Spain’s State Society for Agricultural Infrastructure (Sociedad Estatal de Infraestructuras Agrarias, SEIASA) to install new flow meters and automated gates in order to conserve water and increase its efficiency. In this interview, CRCO Technician Adolfo Nieto tells Irrigation Leader about the community’s current challenges and initiatives and provides insight into the situation of Spanish irrigation districts in general. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    Dave Solem: Responding to a Pump Station Lightning Strike

    On Saturday, May 30, a major pump station in South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) was struck by lightning, disintegrating a bus conductor and knocking out the facility. Within hours, SCBID Manager Dave Solem was on the scene with engineers, electricians, manufacturers, and other relevant personnel. Luckily, the damage to the station was not as bad as feared, and after 2 days of hard work, SCBID had the pump station up and running. In this interview, Mr. Solem gives Irrigation Leader the details of this event and explains how the district reacted. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    Assistant Secretary Tim Petty on His Visit to the Milk River Project

    Dr. Tim Petty, the assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Department of the Interior, is responsible for the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and, consequently, for a wide variety of issues related to water infrastructure, water resources, energy, ecosystems, and natural disasters. Dr. Petty recently traveled to western Montana to visit the St. Mary unit of the Milk River Project. While there, he met with local and tribal staff and visited all five of the unit’s drop structures, including drop 5, the structure that failed catastrophically on May 17, and drop 2, which is also being replaced this year. In this interview, Dr.…

  • Featured,  Interview

    General Irrigation’s Redesigned Floating Pump

    General Irrigation and Dewatering of Oakes, North Dakota, designs and installs a wide variety of deep-well, submersible, and towable pumps, including the versatile Dyna Flo pump. One of the newest additions to its lineup is a completely redesigned floating pontoon pump. General Irrigation can build models to accommodate any model of pump or application. In this interview, General Irrigation President Dana Rosendahl tells Irrigation Leader about the design and capabilities of the new floating pump. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    Each Pipe Has Its Role: Thompson Pipe Group’s Product Range

    Thompson Pipe Group is a national pipe manufacturer that works on municipal and irrigation pipe projects across North America. It manufactures steel, fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), and concrete pipe as well as joints and fittings. Thompson also manufactures products for trenchless pipe installation.  In this interview, Thompson Pipe Group Trenchless and Pacific Northwest Manager Carl Pitzer tells Irrigation Leader about the characteristics and uses of each type of pipe his company builds and about trends in the pipe industry. 

  • Featured,  Interview

    Recharging Idaho’s Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer

    The Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB) is a state agency that was created in 1963 to protect Idaho’s water by formulating a comprehensive state water plan. One of its main projects in recent years has been the recharging of the Eastern Snake Plain aquifer (ESPA), which had been depleted by overuse and was no longer supplying enough water for all users. The IWRB has addressed this problem with an array of water conservation solutions and even the creation of new water through cloud seeding.  In this interview, IWRB Chairman Roger Chase tells Irrigation Leader about the IWRB’s history and its current efforts on the ESPA.