Irrigation Leader
  • Arizona Edition,  Featured,  Interview

    Ed Gerak of the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association: Advocating for Arizona’s Power and Water

    The Colorado basin has suffered from drought for two decades, and recent cuts to water allocation under the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) will not just hurt Arizona farmers but cause steep increases in the cost of power generation. That’s just one of many issues of concern for the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association (IEDA), a statewide association that advocates on behalf of Arizona’s public power and water providers. In this interview, IEDA Executive Director Ed Gerak talks about the current challenges facing its members. 

  • Arizona Edition,  Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 10 Nov/Dec Arizona Edition

    By Kris Polly As the tier 1 cuts under the Drought Contingency Plan start to bite, all Arizonans are aware of the reduction in water resources caused by the Colorado basin drought. However, the drought is not just cutting into agricultural and municipal water supplies, it is also reducing hydropower generation and causing steep increases in power costs. To learn more, we speak with Ed Gerak, the new executive director of the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association. Then, in an interview with Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke, we hear about how Arizona is responding to the tier 1 cuts and planning to secure its future water supplies. …

  • Arizona Edition,  Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 9 October Arizona Edition

    By Kris Polly Bob Lynch passed away on August 29, 2021. He was an honorable family man who never said no to a friend in need. Bob was also the go-to western water and power attorney for countless people and multiple associations, and he was a tireless advocate for his clients. His absence on legislation and potential policy changes is already felt and will be for decades. For the better part of the 30 years during which I have been working on western water issues, the solution to many people’s problems has been, “Call Bob Lynch.” He was a constant presence and active participant in all federal western water- and powerrelated issues. In many ways, Bob was like the 101st United States…

  • Arizona Edition,  Featured,  Interview

    Tom Davis: Preserving and Strengthening Arizona’s Desert Ag

    The Yuma, Arizona, area produces the vast majority of North America’s winter produce, including leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and celery. The Yuma area also produces high-quality desert durum wheat, citrus, melons, cotton, and a variety of seed crops. Most of the irrigable acreage in the area is double or triple cropped. This production relies on Colorado River water delivered by entities such as the Yuma County Water Users Association (YCWUA). The water interests of the agricultural community in the area are defended by the local irrigation districts’ boards of directors and by organizations such as the Yuma County Agriculture Water Coalition (YCAWC) and the Agribusiness and Water Council…

  • Arizona Edition,  Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 8 September Arizona Edition

    By Kris Polly The Yuma, Arizona, area is the nation’s top producer of winter produce, thanks largely to Colorado River water. Tom Davis, the general manager of the Yuma County Water Users Association and the president of the Agribusiness and Water Council of Arizona, tells us about the historical efforts that have made that possible and the challenges Arizona now faces with the drought on the Colorado and the depletion of nonrenewable groundwater.  We also bring you several stories from the nearby Imperial Valley of California, which is also a major winter crop producer. Henry Martinez, the general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), the top user of Colorado…

  • Arizona Edition,  Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 7 July/August Arizona Edition

    By Kris Polly In our cover story this month, we speak with David Rousseau, president of the Salt River Project (SRP). SRP's originally largely agricultural deliveries enabled the establishment of a farming community that eventually enabled the explosive growth of Phoenix, now the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area.  We also feature several individuals from Reinke Manufacturing, which in addition to supplying farmers with center pivots, computerized control systems, and other equipment, supports its local community by sponsoring high school and college courses in welding, machining, and robotics. Russ Reinke, Reinke’s first vice president, tells us about the progress the company has made since his father founded it in 1954 and its…

  • Arizona Edition,  Featured,  Interview

    Sandy Fabritz: Bringing Communities Together for Water at Freeport-McMoRan

    Arizona is a state that has endured difficult water challenges since its founding over a century ago. Its arid climate, varied terrain, and position on the Colorado River relative to other states have often created conflicts among various water users. Sandy Fabritz, the director of water strategy at mining company Freeport-McMoRan, is someone who has not only seen those challenges from various perspectives, but has used her experience to find mutually beneficial solutions to complex water issues. In this interview, Ms. Fabritz tells Irrigation Leader about the path that led her to both public service and the private sector, how Freeport-McMoRan prioritizes environmental and water conservation, and the importance of…

  • Arizona Edition,  Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 6 June Arizona Edition Sandy Fabritz: Bringing Communities Together for Water at Freeport- McMoRan

    By Kris Polly Freeport-McMoRan, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is a global leader in mining and operates some of the largest mines in Arizona and across the nation. In addition to being a business leader, Freeport-McMoRan lends careful attention to its operations’ effects on the environment, water resources, and local communities. In this month’s cover interview, Freeport-McMoRan’s director of water strategy, Sandy Fabritz, talks with us about the company’s impressive sustainability efforts.  This month, we also look at New Zealand irrigation, which is known for innovation and adaptation. Vanessa Winning, who has been CEO of the industry organization Irrigation New Zealand since October 2020, tells us about the importance of understanding…

  • Arizona Edition,  Featured,  Interview

    Chairwoman Amelia Flores: Advancing Irrigation and Infrastructure for the Colorado River Indian Tribes

    Amelia Flores is the newly elected chairwoman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), whose reservation stretches along the border of Arizona and California. In this interview, Chairwoman Flores tells us about her responsibilities as chairwoman, CRIT’s irrigation infrastructure, and its recent proposal for federal legislation to allow it to lease its Colorado River water off its reservation. 

  • Arizona Edition,  Flipbook

    Volume 12 Issue 5 May Arizona Edition Chairwoman Amelia Flores of the Colorado River Indian Tribes

    By Kris Polly Amelia Flores is a longtime councilmember and public servant of the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), and in 2020, she became the first woman to be elected chair of CRIT’s Tribal Council. In our cover story, Chairwoman Flores tells us about her responsibilities as chairwoman, CRIT’s irrigation infrastructure, and its recent proposal for federal legislation to allow it to lease its Colorado River water off its reservation.  In this month’s Irrigation Leader, we also bring you the fascinating stories of our country’s small irrigation districts. Two of those districts are in Texas: Meredith Allen and Caroline Runge, the current and outgoing managers of Texas’s Menard County Water…