New Zealand–based tech company Assura has worked with numerous U.S. irrigation district clients to create customized asset-management solutions. Assura can be used to track vehicles, heavy equipment, pumps, and more, recording maintenance and inspections and alerting staff when assets need attention. Assura combines the ease of an off-the-shelf solution with full customizability and robust support services. In this interview, CEO and Managing Director Hamish Howard fills us in on Assura’s asset-management capabilities.
Chris Crow has a family background in construction and has worked as a heavy equipment operator at the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) for 24 years. At KID, he operates some of the biggest heavy equipment on the market, including Caterpillar’s top-of-the-line D11 bulldozer. In this interview, Mr. Crow tells us about his work.
Bill Fuchs of Maximized Water Management is the inventor of the Aquatic Vegetation Rake (AVR), an excavator-mounted tool that removes waterweeds from canals without damaging their banks or requiring dewatering. By completely removing waterweeds, the AVR improves downstream water quality and reduces subsequent regrowth. In this interview, Mr. Fuchs tells us about the origins of the AVR, the results it gets, and why more and more clients are coming to see that the device really is as good as he says.
We all know that buying a car can be expensive and stressful. Now imagine buying a several-million-dollar bulldozer or excavator! Missouri-based Evans Equipment lowers both the cost and the anxiety level by refurbishing mid-life heavy equipment that it acquires from trusted sources in the United States and around the world. It then rebuilds it, sometimes from the frame up, and sells it to clients that include irrigation districts. This can save customers 40–50 percent on the cost of a new machine. In this interview, Evans Equipment Co-owner Bryce Evans tells us more.
In central Washington, state and federal regulations protect several species of endangered salmon and steelhead. Grette Associates helps clients solve permitting issues related to fisheries ecology, habitat restoration and mitigation, impact assessment, study design, and environmental documentation. Irrigation Leader spoke with company principal and senior fisheries biologist Glenn Grette on his company’s work, including its recent collaboration with the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) on the Yakima River.
When the Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD) in Nebraska wanted to get a better picture of its groundwater supplies, it hired Aqua Geo Frameworks to do an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey. The district will use that information to better manage groundwater extraction and irrigated farming on the surface. In this interview, MRNRD Manager Jack Russell and Engineering Hydrologist Alex Boyce tell Irrigation Leader about their experience with the new technology and how it will help them help irrigated farmers in their service area.
Reinke’s irrigation systems can help growers save water while increasing yield. That, says Mike Mills, Reinke’s director of sustainability solutions, is a winning formula at a time when ending global hunger as well as conserving water are top worldwide sustainability goals. In this interview, Mr. Mills speaks with Irrigation Leader about Reinke’s approach to sustainability, from manufacturing and recycling to deploying technology to help growers achieve maximum water application efficiency.
The Colorado Water Trust makes agreements with water rights holders to buy or lease water to keep in the state’s rivers and streams. It negotiates deals with water rights holders—usually farmers and ranchers, who own 85 percent of the water in Colorado—to obtain rights for instream flow. The approach benefits farmers, fish, and everyone who depends on healthy rivers. Andy Schultheiss, the executive director of the Colorado Water Trust, tells us more.
The Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART program includes a wide variety of funding opportunities for water efficiency, drought resilience, watershed management, and water reuse. Over the next 5 years, WaterSMART will disburse an additional $1.9 billion thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In this interview, Josh German, the coordinator of WaterSMART Grants, and Dean Marrone, the manager of Reclamation’s Water Resources and Planning Office, give us the inside scoop on the different WaterSMART programs and provide advice to irrigation districts on how to put together a successful application.
Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) is located in the rapidly growing Tri-Cities area of Central Washington. In response to the ballooning of administrative tasks related to urbanization and property transfers, KID instituted several administrative fees and set up a web portal to supply relevant information to title companies. In this interview, KID Secretary and District Manager Chuck Freeman explains how a judicious introduction of service fees can improve service levels, reduce workload, and raise money.