Irrigation Leader
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    Volume 11 Issue 10 November/December 2020 Washington State Edition

    The Odessa Groundwater Replacement Project (OGWRP) is a crucially important effort to dramatically reduce reliance on the overstrained aquifer in the Odessa region of north-central Washington State by replacing pumped groundwater with surface water supplies from the Columbia River. This month, we have the honor of interviewing four Washington legislators—Representative Tom Dent, Representative Mary Dye, Senator Mark Schoesler, and Senator Judy Warnick—about their work on the OGWRP and what they see as the legislature’s next steps.  Next, Shane Leonard of Arizona’s Roosevelt Water Conservancy District (RWCD) tells us that efficiency goes beyond infrastructure upgrades. It also includes making sure that you have the right employees and that they are properly…

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    Volume 11 Issue 10 November/December 2020

    Irrigation district managers usually think of one thing when they hear efficiency: reducing water loss. Of course, the concept goes much further. Efficiency includes saving water, but it also means saving time, saving money, and making good decisions the first time around so that there is no need to reverse course.  In our cover story, Shane Leonard of Arizona’s Roosevelt Water Conservation District (RWCD) tells us that efficiency goes beyond infrastructure upgrades. It also includes making sure that you have the right employees and that they are properly trained. This is all the more important in a rapidly urbanizing area like the one that RWCD serves.  Our conversation with Rick…

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    Volume 11 Issue 9 October 2020 Washington State Edition

    October 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Irrigation Leader and the 101st issue of the magazine. A great thank you is owed our readers, advertisers, and most importantly, the many exceptional men and women in irrigated agriculture who have shared their time, solutions, and ideas with Irrigation Leader and its readership.  Most of the credit for the idea of the magazine must be given to two individuals: the late Richard Lemargie, an exceptionally brilliant attorney for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project; and Mike Dwyer, a true entrepreneur and, at the time, the executive director of the North Dakota Water Users Association. Richard phoned me a few months after the end…

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    Volume 11 Issue 9 October 2020

    October 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Irrigation Leader and the 101st issue of the magazine. A great thank you is owed our readers, advertisers, and, most importantly, the many exceptional men and women in irrigated agriculture who have shared their time, solutions, and ideas with Irrigation Leader and its readership.  Most of the credit for the idea of the magazine must be given to two individuals: the late Richard Lemargie, an exceptionally brilliant attorney for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project; and Mike Dwyer, a true entrepreneur and, at the time, the executive director of the North Dakota Water Users Association. Richard phoned me a few months after the end…

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    Volume 11 Issue 8 September 2020 Washington State Edition

    What happens when lightning strikes a piece of critical infrastructure? Few irrigation district managers are eager to find out the answer to that question. Dave Solem of South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID), however, found out firsthand after one of his pump stations was hit by lightning on May 30. Thanks to hard work, recent upgrades to the pump station, and a little luck, SCBID was able to get the station back online in 2 days. Our cover story will be of interest to all managers who are responsible for preparing for and responding to accidents and natural disasters. We also feature three stories on groundwater recharge and aquifer storage,…

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    Volume 11 Issue 8 September 2020

    Groundwater recharge and aquifer storage are techniques that hold promise for irrigation districts and water providers across the country. Groundwater recharge reverses the damage done by overdrafting local aquifers and can improve the health of groundwater-connected springs and rivers. In addition, putting water underground creates a store that can be drawn on in lean times.  In this month’s cover story, Paul Cook of the Irvine Ranch Water District tells us about how his district uses its 502 acres of groundwater recharge ponds to bank low-cost water underground for future use. Alan Hansten of Idaho’s North Side Canal Company tells us about how the State of Idaho is funding and building…

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    Volume 11 Issue 7 July/August 2020 Washington State Edition

    This month, Irrigation Leader has the pleasure of featuring an interview with Congressman Dan Newhouse, who represents central Washington’s 4th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Newhouse speaks with us about a number of highly timely topics, including title transfer and the possibility of including funding for irrigation districts in a post-COVID‑19 stimulus bill.  The rest of this issue is dedicated to pressing issues in the state of Montana. On May 17, the long-feared happened—the catastrophic failure of drop structure 5 in the St. Mary unit of Montana’s Milk River Project. Unless and until it is repaired, it will not be possible to replenish the project’s storage, threatening…

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    Volume 11 Issue 7 July/August 2020

    On May 17, the long-feared happened—the catastrophic failure of drop structure 5 in the St. Mary unit of Montana’s Milk River Project. Unless and until the St. Mary unit is repaired, it will not be possible to replenish the project’s storage, threatening the agricultural producers and municipalities that rely on its water. Much of this July/August issue of Irrigation Leader is devoted to this critical situation and how to resolve it. Our cover interview features Jennifer Patrick of the Milk River Joint Board of Control and Marko Manoukian of the St. Mary Rehabilitation Working Group, two individuals who are working on the ground to facilitate the drop 5 repair. We…

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    Special Issue June 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the United States in mid-March has disrupted countless aspects of daily life. Across the nation, many of us have been working from home; some people have lost their jobs or been furloughed; and all of us are wondering if and when things will go back to normal.  Agriculture, of course, is the definition of an essential service, and the irrigation industry, by extension, is one as well. Irrigation districts do not have the luxury of temporarily closing up shop, especially during the spring, when many canals are being watered and prepared for the summer growing season. Their work must continue.  How exactly are they pushing…

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    Volume 11 Issue 6 June 2020 Washington State Edition

    Washington’s AgForestry Leadership program provides invaluable training, networking, and learning opportunities to state’s rising generation of water leaders. The 18-month course includes seminars across Washington State; a visit to Washington, DC; and an international trip—this year, to Cambodia and Vietnam. In this issue, we interview four members of Class 41, this year’s graduating class, about what they are taking away from AgForestry.  Our interview with General Manager Brad Wind of Colorado’s Northern Water demonstrates how irrigation districts harness nature on a grand scale. Northern Water sends hundreds of thousands of acre-feet a water a year under the Rockies to irrigate a swath of northeastern Colorado as large and populous as…