Toni Meacham grew up understanding the importance of water for agriculture and from an early age wanted to advocate for those who depend on it. Working in her own law practice as well as with the Washington Agricultural Legal Foundation (WALF) has allowed her to do precisely that. Ms. Meacham’s experiences as both an attorney and a rancher enable her to understand the needs, interests, and viewpoints of a wide variety of stakeholders on water law issues. In this interview, Ms. Meacham tells Irrigation Leader about how she became interested in water and agricultural law, the unique challenges of those issues, and the importance of effective representation for farmers, ranchers,…
The narrative of a small family farmer prospering after many years of hard work and sacrifice is an iconic version of the American dream. Achieving this dream requires a farmer to overcome many obstacles, both natural and manmade. Dee Waldron is someone who has lived that dream, growing up on a family farm, striving to acquire the land and water needed to grow his business, and now owning a successful agricultural enterprise for beef, barley, and other crops. In this interview, Mr. Waldron tells Irrigation Leader how he began his journey, how he has used innovative irrigation strategies to ensure proper water for his crops and cattle, and the importance…
The Keith–Lincoln County Irrigation District (KLCID), located in western Nebraska, has been operating since the late 19th century. Aside from a headgate system installed during the 1970s, the canal system used by the KLCID today also dates back to that time. In this interview, we speak with KLCID Board President Mark McConnell about the district’s operations and the challenges of a small irrigation district.
Agricultural producers in the Yuma, Arizona, area produce around 90 percent of North America’s winter produce. In the summer, they produce significant amounts of field crops as well. Yuma Irrigation District (YID), irrigating 10,600 acres, is one of the smaller local irrigation districts that make this possible. In this interview, YID General Manager Rex Green tells Irrigation Leader about the district’s operations and top issues.
The Hidalgo County Water Control and Improvement District #19 (HCWCID19) is a small water supplier located near the Rio Grande. In this interview, General Manager Oscar Gonzalez tells Irrigation Leader about its operations, the challenges of dealing with encroaching development, and the complications caused by the construction of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Menard County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 (MCWCID), located in Menard County, Texas, manages an irrigation canal that was built by the Spanish in 1756. After being temporarily dewatered in 2013, the canal has experienced major seepage issues and now requires repairs. In this interview, Meredith Allen and Caroline Runge, the current and outgoing managers of MCWCID, talk to Irrigation Leader about the fascinating history of their canal and their plans to repair it and revitalize irrigated agriculture in Menard County.
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.
Advocating for the interests of eastern Washington water and hydropower users has been a priority for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers since she was elected to represent the state’s 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004. In January 2021, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers was chosen to serve as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over many issues and agencies relating to water resources. As ranking member, she will lead the committee’s Republican members in pursuit of their legislative and oversight priorities. In this interview, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers spoke with Tom Myrum, executive director of the Washington State Water Resources Association (WSWRA), about her…
Russell “Rusty” Bowers has been the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives since 2017. He also previously served in the Arizona Senate from 1997 to 2001 and in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1993 to 1997. In this interview with Irrigation Leader, Speaker Bowers tell us about water management in Arizona, the importance of finding new supplies for the growing Southwest, and the legislation he hopes moves forward this year.
Bob Wietharn is the inventor and manufacturer of the Riverscreen, an innovative floating screen that can pump and filter out debris from running water as shallow as 4 inches. In August 2019, Mr. Wietharn traveled to Russia and Ukraine, where he visited Riverscreen customers and dealers and visited a number of farms. In this interview, Mr. Wietharn shares with Irrigation Leader his impressions of Russia and Ukraine, including details about farming, irrigation, and equipment.