Irrigation Leader
  • Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 4 April Washington State Edition Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Representing Eastern Washington on the Energy and Commerce Committee

    . By Kris Polly  In this month’s Washington State edition of Irrigation Leader, I am pleased to present an interview of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers carried out by Washington State Water Resources Association Executive Director Tom Myrum. In it, Tom asks Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers about her priorities as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and about her advocacy for water and hydropower in Washington State.  Nebraska’s Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD), which manages water and natural resources issues across more than four counties, including Hayes County, where my family has farmed for five generations, is implementing thousands of McCrometer telemetry meters on its wells and across…

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    Volume 12 Issue 4 April Arizona Edition Speaker Rusty Bowers on Prospects for Water Management in Arizona

    By Kris Polly Arizona’s irrigated agriculture is a national treasure that supplies much of this nation’s winter produce. I am pleased to be launching a new Arizona edition of Irrigation Leader, and in this inaugural issue, I am pleased to feature an interview with Arizona House of Representatives Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers, a fourth-generation Arizonan who knows water issues in his home state well. Speaker Bowers tells us about the importance of careful water management amid conditions of explosive population growth, about conflicts on the Colorado River, and about his legislative aims on water management.  Nebraska’s Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD), which manages water and natural resources issues across…

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    Volume 12 Issue 3 March

    The Rio Grande basin will soon enter its third decade of drought. This somber fact is well known to all the water managers on the river. The drought has affected their storage and deliveries and led to crop loss. Yet it has also inspired impressive feats of water conservation, planning, and environmental restoration. This month, Irrigation Leader brings you the stories of irrigation district managers along the entire length of the Rio Grande.  According to Treasurer/Manager Gary Esslinger, the 18-year drought that Elephant Butte Irrigation District is undergoing is now approaching the severity of the Dust Bowl droughts of the 1930s. The district, headquartered in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is…

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    Volume 12 Issue 2 February Washington State Edition Jon DeVaney of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association

    In this month’s issue of Irrigation Leader, we highlight tree fruit, truly a jewel in the crown of Washington’s irrigated agriculture. As Jon DeVaney, the president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA), tells us, tree fruit makes up 25–30 percent of the approximately $10 billion in farm-gate ag value produced in Washington every year. The WSTFA advocates for the industry in Washington, DC, and Olympia while also helping to spread useful new technologies, processes, and ideas to its members, including water conservation technologies.  Next, we turn our eyes toward Montana. In 2017, after 75 years of receiving affordable project use power (PUP) from the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program,…

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    Volume 12 Issue 2 February Preserving Irrigation for Sidney and Kinsey

    In 2017, after 75 years of receiving affordable project use power (PUP) from the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, the Kinsey Irrigation Company (KIC) and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District (SWUID) of southeastern Montana were told that it had all been a mistake. The Bureau of Reclamation’s lawyers had determined that the two water providers’ access to PUP was due to a bookkeeping error and that only specific congressional legislation would enable them to use it again.  Happily, 3 years later, that legislation was signed into law by President Trump, and the future of the KIC and the SWUID has been secured. One hundred thirty families will continue farming with…

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    Volume 12 Issue 1 January Successful Emergency Repairs on the Milk River Project

    The May 2020 failure of the drop 5 structure in the St. Mary Unit of Montana’s Milk River Project was a catastrophic event. “To me, it looked like a bomb had been placed under the middle section of the drop structure,” said Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC) Program Manager Jennifer Patrick. But less than 5 months later, on October 15, Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman and Montana’s congressional delegation, among many other stakeholders and supporters, were attending a ribbon cutting celebrating the reconstruction of the drop structure, which is once again helping deliver water to the Milk River to benefit to the farmers, tribal users, and municipalities of Montana’s…

  • 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…