This issue of Irrigation Leader magazine is about good people doing their best with bad circumstances and finding solutions. From natural drought to government-imposed regulations, our irrigation districts and farmers face tremendous challenges. Our interview with South San Joaquin Irrigation District General Manager Peter Rietkerk describes the extraordinary efforts by his district and farmers in working with limited water supplies. The management flexibility and innovative tools that the South San Joaquin Irrigation District developed are great examples for others. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), a former water law attorney and long-time champion of irrigation, discusses his Sensible Environmental Protection Act, S. 1500, to remove duplicative regulatory controls on the use of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency–approved herbicides. Mike Schwisow provides us an update on the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District’s efforts to bring surface water to the Odessa. Kate Woods, who is vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council and was one of the sharpest congressional staffers I have known, explains the implementation status of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Don Barnett, executive director of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, discusses ongoing efforts to control and remove salt from the Colorado River. Johnny Amaral, Tony Azevedo, and Sarah Woolf do a great job describing the Westlands Water District and informing our readers about how the more than 700 family farms in Westlands efficiently grow food and fiber for our country—all with minimal water supplies. Jeff Welsh of Alligare talks about trends in the aquatic herbicide industry and the importance of customer service. Our innovators, Henry Goff of Permalok and Bryan Wedin of Presto Geosystems, respectively describe unique technologies for pipe culvert replacement and creating flexible slab for better erosion and canal bank control.
My favorite quote from Peter Rietkerk’s interview is, “The forefathers of the district were forward-thinking innovators—implementing storage, hydropower, and water conveyance projects that have served the local area well for over 100 years.” Such an appropriate description and one that can be applied to water supply, hydropower, and irrigation projects throughout the 17 western states.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Irrigation Leader and find information or a contact that may be helpful to you. Thank you for your continued support of our magazine.
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.