The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD), headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers irrigation, drainage, flood control, and responsible water conservation services to irrigators and farmers in the middle agricultural region of the state. In this interview, MRGCD CEO and Chief Engineer Mike Hamman speaks with Irrigation Leader about the district’s history, the drought conditions confronting it today, and the steps it is taking to continue successfully fulfilling its mission.
Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID), which services over 6,700 farm members across a service area of 90,640 acres, has stewarded the surface water of New Mexico’s portion of the Rio Grande Project (RGP) for over 100 years. Its water deliveries are complicated by several factors, including delivery obligations under the 1906 Convention Treaty with Mexico, the 1902 authorization of the RGP as a Bureau of Reclamation project, and the formulation of the 1938 Rio Grande Compact Commission—plus a drought that has lasted now for 19 years. In this interview, EBID Treasurer/Manager Gary Esslinger tells Irrigation Leader about how the district is adapting to these institutional demands and trying climatic circumstances.
The Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA) is a trade association that brings together ports, businesses, public agencies, and individuals to support navigation, energy, trade, and economic development in the Pacific Northwest. One of the industries it helps support is irrigated agriculture in eastern Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Barge traffic on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, for instance, is a major method by which irrigated crops are shipped to the coast and around the world. In this interview, PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira tells Irrigation Leader about the association’s work and its importance for irrigated ag farmers.
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) is an industry organization that represents all Washington tree fruit growers, packers, and marketers. Its three main areas of activity are collecting and distributing useful data and statistics, educating growers and packers through conferences and training programs, and engaging in advocacy with the Washington State legislature and government to help support the tree fruit industry. In this interview, WSTFA President Jon DeVaney tells Irrigation Leader about the importance of the tree fruit industry for Washington, the critical role that water supply plays in the industry’s success, and the challenges of continuing to provide vital food during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
New Zealand–based TechniPharm International Ltd. is a leading supplier of specialized agricultural equipment solutions and related services, primarily oriented toward dairy, beef, and sheep farming. Its overriding focus is on making farming easier, and to accomplish that, it creates products that are easy to use and install. One of them is the Ecobag, an enclosed storage system for water and effluent. In this interview, TechniPharm Group CEO Harmen Heesen tells Irrigation Leader about the company’s history and its products.
Control Design, Inc., (CDI) is a technology company that manufactures measuring, monitoring, and control equipment to manage natural resources like water, oil, and gas. One of its most important markets is the water and irrigation industry. CDI's custom-built equipment can measure and report critical data and activity in remote and challenging terrain, making it perfect for irrigation and water districts with infrastructure spread out over large mountain and desert regions. In this interview, Jim Conley, CDI’s founder; Rod Stone, its president; and Felix Diaz, a research and development engineer at the company, tell Irrigation Leader about CDI’s services and its exciting prospects for growth.
Worthington Products is well known as a multidisciplinary designer, manufacturer, and installer of waterway barrier systems made from steel, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), or molded plastic. These barriers keep floating debris away from dams, reservoirs, canals, and other structures. Fewer people may know, however, that Worthington also builds custom fish barrier systems to keep fish out of water conveyance structures. In this interview, Worthington President Paul Meeks tells Irrigation Leader about the company’s fish barrier product line.
On October 30, 2020, President Trump signed Public Law 116-191, which allowed two small Montana irrigation water entities, the Kinsey Irrigation Company (KIC) of Custer County and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District (SWUID) of Richland County, to continue using affordable project use power generated by the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program. This legislation, without which the KIC and the SWUID would likely have had to cease operations, did not come from nowhere. It was pushed through Congress by the determined efforts of Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and then-Congressman Greg Gianforte (now the governor of Montana). In this interview, Senators Daines and Tester and Governor Gianforte tell Irrigation Leader…
In 2017, two Montana irrigation water entities, the Kinsey Irrigation Company (KIC) of Custer County and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District (SWUID) of Richland County, were informed that their contract for affordable project use power (PUP) generated by the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program would not be renewed. Both entities had been using PUP for 75 years, and an end to their eligibility would likely have put them out of business. The only solution to this problem was specific congressional authorization for the two entities to use PUP. Thanks to determined work by Montana’s congressional delegation in Washington, DC, President Trump signed Public Law 116-191 on October 30, 2020, which…
Irrigation districts have many distinctive legal needs, both those related to water rights and the regulations incumbent on organizations that deal with environmental topics and those related to employee issues, real estate, contracts, and a variety of other legal issues. That means that a lawyer who specializes in working with irrigation districts and water companies needs a wide variety of skills and experiences. In this interview, Larry Martin, an attorney with Halverson Northwest Law Group, tells us about his long experience in water law and the gamut of skills needed to be an effective water lawyer.