Irrigation Leader
  • Photo of a canal with the words "A Safety Message From" followed by the logo for Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District
    District Profile

    Canal Safety at Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District

    The incidence of accidental drowning in Idaho is too high. Idaho also has the unfortunate distinction of having the second-highest accidental drowning rate for children ages 1 through 5 in the United States. For over two decades, Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District (NMID) has worked with our taxpayers and community to foster a culture of safety around district canals and drains. NMID delivers irrigation water to 69,000 acres of farms and lawns in southwestern Idaho via the more than 500 miles of canals and drains it operates and maintains. Given the size of the district and the variety of properties through which its canals and ditches course, enclosing those canals…

  • Photo of a canal with clear water in an arid landscape
    District Profile

    Canal Safety at Roosevelt Water Conservation District

    Roosevelt Water Conservation District (RWCD) serves a growing customer base in and around the cities of Mesa and Chandler and the town of Gilbert in central Arizona. Urbanization and a more active population have the potential to create public safety issues in and around RWCD’s canals. In central Arizona, the public perception is that canals are the closest things we have to rivers and the activities rivers would provide for under normal circumstances. People want to walk their dog along the edge, sit on the bank to reflect on the workday, or fish in the canal, but these are the very activities that pose a tremendous safety risk. A canal…

  • District Profile,  Interview,  Washington State

    The Value of Redundant Systems in the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District

    Natural disasters are a prime example of the need for proper emergency planning and contingencies. Floods and wildfires can devastate the infrastructure of local towns, farms, and irrigation systems. Electrical power lines and stations are particularly vulnerable, and loss of electricity can cripple an irrigation district’s ability to manage its canals. The QuincyColumbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID) learned this lesson recently when a wildfire compromised its electrical power supply and could have prevented it from managing the capacity of its canals. QCBID’s automatic generators activated when power was lost, allowing the district’s systems to remain operational until power was restored. QCBID General Manager Darvin Fales and Technical Services Assistant Manager…

  • District Profile,  Interview

    Coming Together in a Crisis Leadership at the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District

    Resolving old disputes and hard feelings is a difficult but necessary step toward ensuring lasting cooperation. The Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) had to do precisely that to forge a better relationship with the Bureau of Reclamation, which allowed the district to improve its water infrastructure, address urgent emergency situations, and protect its communities. TCID General Manager Rusty Jardine and Board President Ernie Schank were among those who led the effort to resolve the district’s disputes with Reclamation and other stakeholders. They have also helped pave the way for new leadership to lead the district into the future. Mr. Jardine and Mr. Schank spoke with Irrigation Leader’s editor-in-chief, Kris Polly, about…

  • District Profile,  Interview,  Washington State

    Reclaiming Return Flows South Columbia Basin Irrigation District’s David Solem and John O’Callaghan on the Largest Water Conservation Project in the Columbia River Basin

    Irrigation districts seeking to undertake infrastructure projects often face two perennial obstacles: funding and permitting. The South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) had to overcome those challenges when building its return flow pumping station project. The district had to balance the requirement to complete the project quickly to receive needed federal funding against the time-consuming regulatory process, but doing so successfully allowed SCBID to build a project that will improve its water supply and mitigate the effects of drought and other severe weather conditions. SCBID General Manager David Solem and Assistant Manager of Technical Services John O’Callaghan recently spoke with Irrigation Leader’s senior writer, John Crotty, about the project’s origins,…