Irrigation Leader
  • Photo of Mark Maynard sitting in an office
    District Profile,  News

    Improving Flow Accountability at the Columbia Improvement District

    The Columbia Improvement District (CID) in Boardman, Oregon, is working to maximize the capabilities of its water infrastructure with the goals of improving system efficiency and reliability to better serve district members. CID General Manager Mark Maynard has led an initiative to automate and improve efficiency throughout the CID system. The installation of McCrometer FPI Mag meters has been a critical component of that effort. Situated off the southern banks of the Columbia River, CID provides water to 18,000 acres of farmland via a 7-mile main canal, 6 pumps off the Columbia River, 30 booster stations, and a large network of pipelines throughout the area. On average, CID pumps 76,000…

  • Aerial photo of mountain forest and fields

    The Role of Archaeology in the Development of One of the Last Reclamation Reservoirs

    To say that the Animas-La Plata (A-LP) Project faced a multitude of political and regulatory challenges and setbacks throughout its planning and construction is an understatement. In the nearly 60 years from the A-LP’s planning authorization in 1956 to the completion of construction in 2013, Congress passed both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, each adding time and complexity to the already-large project. Changing support for federal investment in water projects in general and in irrigation in particular had a major effect on the A-LP. Congress authorized the construction of the A-LP in the Colorado River Basin Project Act of September 30, 1968. The original vision…

  • Aerial photo of Sheffield Reservoir. A square body of water surrounded by green grass.

    Sheffield Reservoir Another Milestone for the Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme

    With the recent completion of the Sheffield Reservoir, Central Plains Water Limited (CPWL) is realizing the next stage of its water enhancement plan for a section of underserved lands in New Zealand’s Canterbury Plains. The newly constructed reservoir is a lynchpin of the Sheffield Scheme, which will introduce surface water irrigation to farmers in the area for the first time. As part of the larger Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme, the Sheffield Scheme is part of the greater effort to provide surface water irrigation to the surrounding 148,263 acres of land within the Canterbury Plains. Beginning in December 2016, CPWL began working on bringing water to the region’s high-quality soils…

  • Photo of construction. Workers smooth concrete over canal.
    News,  Washington State

    A Case Study in Extending Canal Life at the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District

    With water being a vital component of agricultural life in the Columbia basin, the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID) has lined its canals to help minimize water loss and deliver water to the farmlands that need it. QCBID is one of three irrigation districts operating the Columbia Basin Project, which brings water resources to the Columbia basin. In 1902, Congress passed the Reclamation Act, which authorized the construction of irrigation storage and delivery systems, including projects for the Columbia basin region. President Franklin Roosevelt set the Columbia Basin Project in motion with the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, which began in 1933. A railroad was built to move materials…

  • News

    Promoting Vegetation Management Safety at Alligare

    Safety in vegetation management is a primary concern for irrigation district managers. For Alligare, a leader in aquatic vegetation management, safety is built into all its services. The company provides in-depth product safety information, application protocol, and in-the-field training to customers to ensure the best outcome for the environment and the applicator. Alligare’s Western U.S. Regional Manager—Aquatics Dave Blodget is familiar with the anxiety many applicators face when they first use an herbicide such as MAGNACIDE H. He said, “Usually, this stems from the person having heard a story from another person about the product. We listen to their fears and demonstrate that they can safely apply the product with…

  • News

    Managing Safety at Elephant Butte Irrigation District Delyce Maciel

    Safety is a key concern for irrigation districts all over the world. With employees working outdoors near swift water and with large equipment, a number of things could go wrong. Delyce Maciel has been serving Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID) as the human resources and safety director for 91/2 years and has been successful in reducing the number of serious injuries. In a recent interview, Ms. Maciel discussed EBID’s approach to safety and how it strives to improve year over year.

  • Photo of Michael Schwisow holding award standing next to Dave Solem
    News,  Washington State

    Washington State Water Resources Association Honors Mike Schwisow

    This past December at the Washington State Water Resources Association (WSWRA) Annual Conference, WSWRA past President Dave Solem presented the association’s Distinguished Service Award to Michael Schwisow in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the irrigation and water resources community. Mr. Solem noted, “Mike is highly respected and liked by those he works with. He is a very effective lobbyist for WSWRA.” Mr. Schwisow has been the government relations consultant for WSWRA since 1993. During that time, Mike successfully worked for passage of 32 WSWRA-requested bills that enacted or amended over 75 sections of irrigation district statute. In that same time, irrigation district projects were supported by appropriations of over…

  • Photo of the reregulation reservoir at 20 percent capacity
    News,  Washington State

    Revell Takes the Helm as WSWRA President

    The Washington State Water Resources Association (WSWRA) board of directors elected Scott Revell as WSWRA president at its annual conference last December in Spokane, Washington. Mr. Revell has served on the WSWRA board for the past 5 years and was the vice president for 2 years. WSWRA Executive Director Tom Myrum said, “I look forward to working with Scott as our president. He has proven to be a leader in the Washington irrigation community and has a long-term vision for his district, the Yakima basin, and water supply in general.” Mr. Revell has been the manager of the 72,000-acre Roza Irrigation District (RID) in the Yakima Valley since 2013. He…

  • Photo closeup of teff plant
    Irrigated Crop

    Teff in Nevada

    One way for farmers to improve soil and reduce the risk of crop loss is to diversify crop rotations. More than a decade ago, a couple of farmers in northern Nevada’s Truckee-Carson Irrigation District—with the help and guidance of their local agricultural extension agent—started growing a staple of the highlands of the Horn of Africa, teff, to provide such diversity. Teff is the world’s smallest grain, but it produces a variety of items, including flour used for injera, a spongy Ethiopian flatbread, and high-quality hay for livestock and horses. Teff is high in protein and fiber and is gluten free. The crop is well suited to Nevada’s high elevations and…

  • Photo of hemp at sunset
    Water Law

    Marijuana, Hemp, and Water—OH, MY! Water Delivery for Marijuana and Hemp Cultivation

    The town of Nipton, California, is on the verge of a population boom. This former ghost town, which was founded in 1905 and sits near the Nevada border, was recently purchased by American Green, Inc., an Arizona-based marijuana technology company. American Green intends to make Nipton America’s “first energyindependent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.” Offering products ranging from cannabis-infused water to marijuana edibles, the new owners hope to make this sleepy hamlet on the edge of the Mohave Desert a destination hotspot for marijuana enthusiasts. But to make this dream a reality, American Green is going to need ingenuity, manpower, and water. Lots and lots of water. You cannot grow marijuana and…