Irrigation Leader
  • Photo portrait of Matt Lukasiewicz standing in front of a lake
    District Profile,  Interview

    Streamlining Sargent Irrigation District’s Canals and Pipelines Matt Lukasiewicz of Sargent Irrigation District

    Debris can get into an irrigation system in any number of ways—through intakes that are open to the rivers they draw from or through open canals—but it always causes a headache for irrigation districts and the farmers they serve. After being plagued with debris in its system for many years, Sargent Irrigation District in central Nebraska turned to the experts at International Water Screens to solve its problems. With nearly 30 years of experience, the International Water Screens team helped Sargent Irrigation District select and install self-cleaning, traveling water screens to meet its specific needs. In an interview with Kris Polly, editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader magazine, Matt Lukasiewicz, general manager…

  • Group photo in warehouse in front of tractor
    District Profile,  Interview

    Changing the Status Quo A Conversation With MHV Water Chief Executive Mel Brooks

    MHV Water is a large-scale irrigation district—a "scheme," in New Zealand parlance—in the Canterbury region of New Zealand, which delivers water and manages environmental compliance for approximately 140,000 acres of highly productive farmland. MHV operates in the Hinds Plains region of Mid Canterbury, a fertile area that is well suited to open-pasture dairy farming. MHV, a farmer-owned cooperative, was formed in June 2017, when Mayfield Hinds Irrigation and Valetta Irrigation merged to unlock efficiencies of scale for their shareholders and amplify their voices by speaking together. Mayfield Hinds Irrigation and Valetta Irrigation began as public works projects in the 1940s and have continually delivered water since 1947. Privatized in 1990,…

  • Bruce Scott stands in front of a pivot that waters crops in a green field. Mountains in the background.
    District Profile,  Interview

    Improving Water Delivery and Efficiency for Farmers Daniel Carney and Kevin Pearson of Eastern Municipal Water District

    In summer 2018, Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) of Perris, California, received a $210,000 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation to support increased water use efficiencies among its agricultural customers. The grant funding is part of the Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency program, a joint program between Reclamation and the National Resources Conservation Service. EMWD was one of three agencies nationally to receive program funding. The funding will support new technology to assist local agricultural producers become more efficient and to provide them with a better understanding of their water use needs. It will include real-time online tracking of water use, creating weather-based water budgets for local farms and replacing…

  • Photo of Clancy Flynn standing in a field
    District Profile,  Interview,  Washington State

    New Leadership at Columbia Irrigation District An interview with Clancy Flynn

    Colombia Irrigation District (CID), located in southeastern Washington, delivers water to approximately 10,000 acres on close to 7,000 parcels of land. CID holds one of the oldest water rights in the Yakima River basin, with the district having officially formed in 1917. The CID system begins at the Wanawish Dam along the Yakima River and delivers water to the town of Kennewick. The CID system consists primarily of open canals, both lined and unlined, which total approximately 41 miles in length. CID is currently building its vision for the future to proactively ensure its water delivery capability for many years to come. Kris Polly, editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader, spoke with…

  • Aerial photo of Eight Mile Lake situated in the mountains
    District Profile,  Interview,  Washington State

    Tony Jantzer of Icicle and Peshastin Irrigation Districts

    In August 2017, the Jack Creek Wildfire ran rampant through the Cascade Range in Washington State, leaving thousands of acres of land destroyed and impenetrable by water. Due to the lack of absorption, the Icicle and Peshastin Irrigation Districts have been taxed with accommodating the higherthan-normal-level runoff captured in Eight Mile Dam, adding stress to the 1920s-era structure. As a result, the board declared an emergency to address looming challenges. Irrigation Leader’s editor-in-chief, Kris Polly, spoke with Tony Jantzer, secretary-manager for Icicle and Peshastin Irrigation Districts, to learn more about the districts and the situations they are facing. In the interview, Mr. Jantzer speaks about the challenges his team faces…

  • Photo of Mark Maynard sitting in an office
    District Profile,  News

    Improving Flow Accountability at the Columbia Improvement District

    The Columbia Improvement District (CID) in Boardman, Oregon, is working to maximize the capabilities of its water infrastructure with the goals of improving system efficiency and reliability to better serve district members. CID General Manager Mark Maynard has led an initiative to automate and improve efficiency throughout the CID system. The installation of McCrometer FPI Mag meters has been a critical component of that effort. Situated off the southern banks of the Columbia River, CID provides water to 18,000 acres of farmland via a 7-mile main canal, 6 pumps off the Columbia River, 30 booster stations, and a large network of pipelines throughout the area. On average, CID pumps 76,000…

  • Photo of Lake McClure during a drought. The original Exchequer Dam, normally submerged, is exposed.
    District Profile,  Interview

    Expanding Storage to Sustain Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley John Sweigard of Merced Irrigation District

    With rights dating back to the 1800s, Merced Irrigation District (MID) is a senior water rights holder on California’s Merced River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River. The irrigation district formed in 1919 and built Exchequer Dam, creating Lake McClure. MID completed the 490-foot New Exchequer Dam in 1967, impounding more than 1 million acre-feet of surface water, creating flood control space, and providing a generating capacity of 95 megawatts of renewable hydroelectric power. MID currently serves approximately 2,200 growers and more than 130,000 acres of highvalue orchards and row crops in the eastern San Joaquin Valley. Over the years, and like most water providers in California, MID has…

  • Photo of East Goulburn Main Channel
    District Profile

    Murrumbidgee Irrigation

    In 1912, the Australian government formed Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) following the commissioning of Burrinjuck Dam in the Snowy Mountains. The intent of the project was to construct a system that would make inland Australia a drought-proof major food producer and that would create jobs for an expanding nation. Today, MI has done just that and much more. Servicing over 3,300 landholdings that are owned by over 2,500 customers within a 670,000-hectare area in the Murray-Darling basin, MI has developed into a large and thriving irrigation district. MI’s core operation is the delivery of water through an extensive integrated supply and drainage network ranging over 140,000 hectares. The system comprises 250…

  • District Profile

    Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District

    Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMW) has established itself as the largest rural water provider in Victoria, Australia. Everyday, GMW manages and delivers over 70 percent of Victoria’s stored water and half the area’s underground water. On average GMW delivers close to 2 million mega liters of water to rural, urban, and environmental users over a 68,000 square kilometer region—an area almost one-third the size of Victoria. Within GMW’s area are 1,200 dairy farms, which provide 21 percent of Australia’s milk, and 400,000 hectares of irrigated crops, such as wheat, barley, triticale, corn, and oilseeds. When combined, both industries provide $5.9 billion of value to the local and national economy. All in…

  • Aerial photo of Aerial view of Coleambally Main Regulator Number 3
    District Profile

    Coleambally Irrigation

    The Coleambally irrigation area is situated about 250 miles north of Melbourne in the Riverina area of New South Wales, Australia. The town of Coleambally was established in 1968 by the New South Wales government for the sole purpose of supporting those who were first encouraged to establish irrigated agriculture in the area. Today, the town is home to Australia’s fourth-largest irrigation company, Coleambally Irrigation. The organizational structure of Coleambally Irrigation is different from other irrigation corporations because of its two cooperatives: Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited (CICL) and Coleambally Irrigation Mutual Co-operative Limited (CIMCL). Each cooperative has a separate board, and one of the strengths of the model is that…