When I write my column for Irrigation Leader, I often review the contents of that particular issue for a unifying theme or message to underscore. This issue of Irrigation Leader has a strong Texas flavor, as intended. However, when I review the table of contents, what I see is a list of very good people who take a great deal of pride in their jobs.
Troy Allen is a solid Texan and a problem solver. He is respected by his peers and is popular among them. I like Troy because, just like a farmer, he is always thinking about a better way to do something. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) of the House Natural Resources Committee is proving to be different in many positive ways. He is a humble man with views on irrigation and water policy like those you would hear from any group of farmers at any coffee shop throughout the West. One long-time committee staffer was recently surprised when Chairman Bishop walked into his office for a friendly discussion about what the Chairman wanted to get done. Generally, staffers are summoned for such meetings, but this Chairman is hands on.
As general manager of the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, Steve Walthour has a Texas-sized job with jurisdiction over 7,335 square miles. Steve’s leadership and vision are clearly up to the challenge, as he tells us about the great efforts his district and farmers have made to improve irrigation practices and conserve water supplies. Kyle Miller has faced every district manager’s fear of “no water” for almost four years. His personality and dedication to his job really comes through in the article. LaMarriol Smith of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority does a great job explaining the recent Fifth Circuit Court ruling on the whooping crane case. After five years and $7 million spent by the good people of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, this case is an example of how the Endangered Species Act is a wonderful law for lawyers, but not for the people it affects and certainly not for species.
Rick Reinders of Watertronics is an impressive individual with an equally impressive company. His quote, “Quality is the best assurance for continued success in business,” is a universal truth. By testing and certifying every pump before it leaves the factory, Watertronic’s operates at the same high standards and expectations of every irrigation district manager I have met. Howard Danzig is a highly intelligent individual and a solid American patriot. Those qualities are readily apparent when one meets Howard. He has also saved some irrigation districts a tremendous amount of money by improving their health insurance programs. It may sound over the top to say there will probably be a statue of Howard erected at some point, but Loup Basin Reclamation District could certainly afford it with the money Howard has saved them.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Irrigation Leader and reading about the featured individuals, their issues, and their accomplishments. They are all good people.
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.