Irrigation Leader
  • Featured,  Interview

    Naches-Selah’s Outreach To Local Schools

    The Naches-Selah Irrigation District serves more than 10,500 acres in Washington’s Yakima County and has a history going back to the 19th century. The land the district serves is devoted predominantly to apple, cherry, and pear orchards, some of which have now been in the same families for five or six generations. Justin Harter has been the district’s general manager for the past 14 years. For the past several years, he has also been involved in a simple and effective form of public outreach. Twice a year, Mr. Harter presents information about his district and about the art of water management generally to a local seventh grade class, building the…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Kennewick Irrigation District’s Customer Service Strategy

    Kennewick Irrigation District (KID), nestled in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State, was started in the 1950s. The canal system that KID was formed to build is still in operation today, serving more than 65,000 people. The district has shifted from primarily agricultural land usage to more urban land usage as the Tri-Cities— Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland—have grown. To make that shift successful, the district employs various methods of outreach to engage the public about how their water is used. In this interview, Dana Hernandez, the customer service supervisor at KID, speaks with Irrigation Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about the district’s history, its current public outreach strategy, and the…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Most Crop Per Drop The Arkansas Irrigation Yield Contest

    Most farmers are familiar with contests in which participants try to achieve the maximum yield of a crop from a given field. Fewer would be familiar with a contest in which participants’ total crop yield is divided by the amount of water they use—thus measuring their water use efficiency. That’s the kind of contest that Dr. Chris Henry and his colleagues at the University of Arkansas sponsored for the first time in 2018. Building on the success of a 5-year on-farm demonstration program, they developed the Arkansas Irrigation Yield Contest to harness farmers’ ingenuity and competitive instincts in order to increase water use efficiency. In this interview with Irrigation Leader…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Roosevelt Water Conservation District Saving Money Through Public Outreach

    The Roosevelt Water Conservation District (RWCD) has been serving local farmers, urban irrigators, and other central Arizona water users for almost a century. Located on the eastern edge of the Phoenix metro area in Maricopa County, its 40,000-acre service area overlaps with the quickly growing cities of Mesa and Chandler and the town of Gilbert, meaning that it is acquiring many new customers that have limited experience with and knowledge of irrigation. To communicate with and educate its new customers, RWCD has hired several new staff, including Simon Wallace, its neighborhood liaison supervisor, and Allison Brague, its public and media relations coordinator. In this interview, Mr. Wallace and Ms. Brague join…

  • Flipbook

    Volume 10 Issue 5 May/June 2019 Public Outreach for Irrigation Districts

    Public outreach is a must for irrigation districts. By getting to know ratepayers and community members, educating them, and solving their problems, an irrigation district can save time and money, gain goodwill, and even find new employees. In this month’s Irrigation Leader, we talk with managers, public relations staff, scientists, and communications professionals about how districts can boost their public outreach efforts. In our cover story, we interview Shane Leonard, Simon Wallace, and Allison Brague of Arizona’s Roosevelt Water Conservation District. By hiring Mr. Wallace and Ms. Brague to create his customer service department, Mr. Leonard was able to better address customer concerns— but perhaps more surprisingly, he saved money.…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Drought-Resistant Water Supplies for Yakima An interview with David Brown

    The City of Yakima’s Water/Irrigation Division provides drinking water and urban irrigation services to around 70,000 urban drinking water users and around 30,000 urban irrigation users. Currently dependent on water from snowpack, the city is implementing aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) strategies as climate change shifts winter precipitation toward rain instead of snow. The city is also working to replace Nelson Dam with a roughened channel diversion, reducing flood risks while benefiting endangered wildlife. In this interview, David Brown, the assistant public works director and manager of the Water/Irrigation Division, speaks with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about the division’s services and current projects.

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 4 April Washington Edition 2019 David Brown: Drought-Resistant Water Supplies for Yakima

    D avid Brown of the City of Yakima’s Water/Irrigation Division knows that straightforward improvements can have dramatic results. In 1998, the city replaced 32 miles of wood-stave pipes with PVC and polyethylene and, in so doing, reduced its diversion from 23 cubic feet per second to 9. Today, the division is taking the same attitude toward implementing aquifer storage and recovery facilities and replacing the 1985 Nelson Dam with a roughened channel. As Mr. Brown explains in our cover story, these improvements require money, but their payoffs are significant. The rest of this issue focuses on an Irrigation Leader tour of Chile that took place in February. Chile stretches 2,600…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Pisco Grapes: Part of Chile’s Historical, Cultural, and Economic Heritage An interview with Francisco Hernández

    T he City of Yakima’s Water/Irrigation Division provides drinking water and urban irrigation services to around 70,000 urban drinking water users and around 30,000 urban irrigation users. Currently dependent on water from snowpack, the city is implementing aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) strategies as climate change shifts winter precipitation toward rain instead of snow. The city is also working to replace Nelson Dam with a roughened channel diversion, reducing flood risks while benefiting endangered wildlife. In this interview, David Brown, the assistant public works director and manager of the Water/Irrigation Division, speaks with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about the division’s services and current projects.

  • Featured,  Interview

    Managing Water in Chile: The National Irrigation Commission An interview with Federico Errázuriz

    T he National Irrigation Commission (Comisión Nacional de Riego, CNR) is the government agency charged with supporting irrigated agriculture and funding irrigation projects in the nation of Chile, giving it a role similar to the Bureau of Reclamation in the United States. Having suffered serious droughts for the last decade, Chile is working hard to modernizeits storage and conveyance infrastructure and to promote on-farm efficiency. One of the ways the CNR supports these efforts is by providing funding for infrastructure projects. However, the CNR follows an unusual strategy of subsidizing projects only after they are already constructed and functional. In this interview, Federico Errázuriz, executive secretary of the CNR, speaks…

  • Featured,  Interview

    Irrigation in the Elqui Valley An interview with Dagoberto Bettancourt:

    T he Elqui River and Tributaries Board of Control (Junta de Vigilancia del Río Elqui y sus Afluentes, JVRE), administers 121 irrigation canals in Elqui Province in north-central Chile. This productive area produces grapes, citrus fruits, avocados, and vegetables for export around the world. The JVRE’s formal history goes back to the 1930s, but some of its shareholders, like the Bellavista Canal Association, have histories that go back to the early 19th century. In this interview, Dagoberto Bettancourt, the manager and general water distributor of the JVRE, speaks with Irrigation Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about the history of irrigation in the Elqui Valley and his agency’s current efforts.