The cultivation of potatoes—one of Washington State’s top crops, supporting 36,000 jobs in the state—is directly dependent on irrigation infrastructure and technology. Columbia River water has turned the desert landscape of central Washington into a bounteous agricultural region. In this month’s cover story, Chris Voigt, the director of the Washington State Potato Commission, tells us about how potatowes are grown, irrigated, harvested, and processed in Washington State.
Much of the rest of our September issue focuses on New Mexico, home to some of the nation’s oldest Reclamation infrastructure. In our cover story, Dale Ballard tells us about historic Carlsbad Irrigation District (CID), of which he is manager. CID was founded in the first years of the 20th century by early New Mexico pioneers, and today much of its infrastructure is over a century old. CID is fighting to maintain its infrastructure, supply its farmers, and meet interstate water delivery requirements.
We also speak with two hydrology experts from Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID). Patrick Lopez, EBID’s SCADA Systems director, describes the remote telemetry units and gravity meter that the district is using to precisely monitor and measure its surface and groundwater. And Dr. Erek Fuchs tells us about the sophisticated analysis the data provided by this monitoring allow him to do.
Phil Ball of Situational Awareness Institute has a new online training course that allows irrigation districts and other agencies to prepare their staff for security threats and conflictual situations.
In our Irrigated Crop section, we feature Greg Daviet, whose New Mexico family farm produces a sought-after crop well suited to New Mexico’s climate: pecans.
Finally, it is with sadness that we publish an obituary of Warren R. Morgan of Quincy, Washington. Warren will be missed by all who knew him.
This month’s issue of Irrigation Leader demonstrates the technological and economic dynamism that irrigation brings to the U.S. economy. I hope you enjoy learning more about it.
Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader magazine and president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at Kris.Polly@waterstrategies.com.