Irrigation Leader
  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Tackling Wapato Irrigation Project’s Challenges: Stuart Crane of the Yakama Nation

    Wapato Irrigation Project (WIP) was founded by the federal government in the early 20th century to irrigation the Yakama Nation reservation in central Washington State. Today, WIP diverts several hundred thousand acre-feet of water from the Yakima River and local creeks each year to service around 150,000 acres of irrigated agricultural land. While WIP is a federally owned project that is operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), some of the engineering and operating duties are handled by the Yakama Nation through the Yakama Tribal Engineering Program. This split between federal ownership and local service can sometimes lead to difficulties with efficient hiring, procurement, and maintenance. WIP’s infrastructure is…

  • Featured,  Interview

    How Emrgy is Disrupting the Hydropower Industry

    Solar and wind power have exploded in popularity in recent years as facilities have become cheaper to build, but up until now, this has not been true of a third renewable power source, hydropower. This is primarily because hydropower relies on large installations that require civil construction. A new startup called Emrgy is seeking to change all this with its small, modular, distributed hydropower installations, which can be installed without civil construction. In this interview, Emily Morris, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Emrgy, speaks withIrrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about her company’s innovative hydropower installations.

  • Featured,  Interview

    Growing Lettuce in Yuma

    Most of the winter produce consumed in the United States and Canada is grown in the Yuma, Arizona, region, in Southern California, and in Northern Mexico, and most is processed in Yuma before being shipped out to supermarkets across the country. While the average consumer in the produce aisle of a supermarket may not give a second thought to their lettuce’s provenance, there is actually a highly efficient process for harvesting, shipping, and selling Yuma’s winter crops within a matter of hours. In this interview, Tom Davis, the general manager of the Yuma County Water Users’ Association (YCWUA), speaks withIrrigation Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about the growing, harvesting, and processing…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Not So Convenient: Why So Many Scooters Are Ending up in Canals

    By now, residents of most cities in the United States are familiar with the electric scooters that have sprung up like mushrooms on every street corner. While they are convenient and quick for commuters, they pose an annoyance, a liability, and a hazard for canal owners. Arizona’s Roosevelt Water Conservation District is one agency that has had problems with these scooters. In this interview, RWCD General Manager Shane Leonard speaks with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about the recent spike in scooters being thrown into his agency’s canals and the massive headaches and possible lawsuits they are causing.

  • Featured,  Interview

    Linking Arizona Farmers With Researchers: The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture

    The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) is a research center at the University of Arizona (UA) that links farmers, researchers, and students. Its mission is to identify the needs of Arizona farmers, find researchers to work on meeting those needs, fund them with money donated by the agricultural industry and other sources, and then diffuse the results of their research among the farmers. In this interview, YCEDA Executive Director Paul Brierley speaks with Irrigation Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about the exciting research his center is coordinating.

  • Featured,  Interview

    Powering Arizona’s Water: CAP’s Energy Needs

    At 2.8 gigawatt-hours per year, the Central Arizona Project (CAP) is one of the biggest power users in the state of Arizona. Why? Mainly because of the immense power demands of diverting 1.6 million acre-feet of water a year off of Lake Havasu and immediately lifting it about 800 feet vertically. That is the first step in a process that ultimately brings water to CAP’s approximately 2 million agricultural, municipal, tribal, and industrial users. With the imminent closure of the coal- fired Navajo Generating Station, CAP is identifying alternate sources of power to meet its considerable needs. In this interview, Darrin Francom, the director of operations, power, and engineering at CAP,…

  • Featured,  Interview

    The pima-maricopa irrigation project: nation-building through irrigation infrastructure

    The Pima people (also known as the Akimel O’otham, or “river people”) have lived in the Gila River Valley of south-central Arizona for thousands of years. In the latter 18th century, they were joined by the Maricopa (also known as the Pee Posh, meaning “the people”) and confederated together. While they had separate cultures and languages, the two tribes agreed to ally and to share the same land. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, however, the settlement of Arizona by nontribal people and the upstream diversion of the waters of the Gila River deprived the Pima-Maricopa people of their water supplies, leading to hunger and the loss of their independent…

  • Flipbook

    Volume 10 Issue 7 August 2019 Nation-Building Through Irrigation Infrastructure

    Arizona agriculture is a marvel. Despite its blazing hot summers and its desert climate, the state produces significant agricultural output, including most of the lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli eaten in the United States and Canada during the winter. To make this happen, water suppliers and irrigators distribute hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water each year across the state. In our cover story, I speak with Dr. David DeJong, the director of the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project (P-MIP), the tribal program that is managing the design and construction of over 100 miles of irrigation conveyance structures in the Gila River Indian Community. Dr. Dejong, whose doctoral dissertation in history focused on the water rights…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Senator Jim Honeyford: Water Leadership for Washington

    The Columbia and Yakima basins of Washington State are home to thousands of acres of productive irrigated farmland. On a local level, that irrigation is managed and directed by irrigation districts like the Wapato Irrigation District, Sunnyside Irrigation District, and Roza Irrigation District. At the state level, the state legislature and government play crucial roles. In this interview, Senator Jim Honeyford of Washington’s 15th District speaks with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about his work and accomplishments in the state legislature advocating for the interests of the state’s water users and irrigation districts.

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 6 July Washington Edition 2019 Senator Jim Honeyford: Water Leadership for Washington

    Irrigation Leader’s cover story this month features Washington State Senator Jim Honeyford, who has long championed water management and infrastructure bills that benefit irrigation districts and water users across his state. Senator Honeyford tells us about the legislation he has supported in the past and his priorities for the future and gives his advice to any irrigation district that wants to make its voice heard in the state legislature. We also focus on the challenges of funding water infrastructure projects, starting with an interview with Matt Lukasiewicz of the Loup Basin Reclamation District. Loup Basin, which manages two subordinate irrigation districts, bought the title for its infrastructure from the Bureau…