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.
Several years ago, recognizing that few insurers had a dedicated proprietary form for water entities, the insurance company Allied Public Risk created the WaterPlus program. It provides both property and liability insurance to about 3,000 water-related entities around the nation, including water districts, water authorities, sanitation and wastewater facilities, irrigation entities, and special-purpose districts. In this interview, George Pappas, a senior vice president for distribution at Allied Public Risk, tells Irrigation Leader about the advantages of WaterPlus and the many factors an irrigation entity should consider when choosing a policy.
The Madera Irrigation District (MID) is one of many districts that have recognized the need to update their metering sites by replacing old turnout meters with new technology. The MID, which encompasses an area of approximately 139,665 acres in the Central Valley of California, operates a primarily gravity irrigation distribution system with approximately 300 miles of open-flow canal systems and 150 miles of large-diameter pipelines. It is a public agency whose mission is to obtain and manage affordable surface water and groundwater supplies and ensure the long-term viability of irrigated agriculture in its service area. The MID’s water is sourced from surrounding lakes and mountain diversion contracts. The water is…
After the recent catastrophic failure of one of the Milk River Project’s drop structures, the Bureau of Reclamation worked intensively with the Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC), the State of Montana, the Blackfeet Tribe, and other stakeholders to plan for a permanent repair to the structure. In this interview, Steve Davies, the manager of Reclamation’s Montana area office, tells Irrigation Leader about the close collaboration that went into a successful, timely repair and shares the wisdom he has gained over 35 years at Reclamation.