Irrigation Leader
  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 9 October Washington State Edition

    By Kris Polly Many things come together to make irrigated agriculture possible: infrastructure, including dams, reservoirs, and canals; new inventions to promote safe water delivery; education for professionals; and governmental relations work to ensure that legislators understand what farmers need to be successful.  The Washington State Potato Commission supports research, promotion, and governmental affairs for Washington State’s $7.5 billion potato growing and processing industry. As Executive Director Chris Voigt tells us in our cover story, irrigation is an essential piece of this industry, as are the water supplies guaranteed by the dams on the Snake River.  Also in this magazine, Jeff Sutton, the general manager of the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority,…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Kurt Miller of Northwest RiverPartners: Educating the Public and Policymakers About Hydropower and Irrigation

    Dams have the potential to serve many of society’s needs: clean energy, transportation, irrigation, and flood control. But dams and hydropower can also generate controversy regarding conservation and river temperatures, which is often inflamed by misinformation. This often can hinder efforts to integrate hydropower into the renewable energy economy now being required by federal and state mandates. Northwest RiverPartners is a group dedicated to combating misinformation and educating the public about the comprehensive benefits hydropower can provide. In this interview, Northwest RiverPartners’ executive director, Kurt Miller, tells Irrigation Leader about the misconceptions the public often has about hydropower and dams, how dams can help further a clean energy economy in…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 8 September Washington State

    By Kris Polly The irrigation water drawn from the Pacific Northwest’s dams is critical to the region’s valuable agricultural production. In this month’s cover interview, Kurt Miller of Northwest RiverPartners tells us about how his organization works to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of hydropower and the other benefits, including irrigation water, that the dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers provide.  We also bring you several stories that highlight the excellent work that is being done in California’s Imperial Valley, one of the nation’s leading producers of winter produce. Henry Martinez, the general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), the top user of Colorado River…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 7 July/August Washington State Chris Lynch: Forecasting Future Water Supplies in the Yakima Basin

    The 1945 consent degree in the Yakima basin established a method of distributing water to a variety of classes of water rightholders. However, to do this, a measure of the total water supply available in the basin was required. Chris Lynch, the river operations engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Yakima Field Office, is in charge of the impressive feat of carrying out this yearly estimate. We learn more about it in this month’s cover interview.  We also feature several individuals from Reinke Manufacturing, which in addition to supplying farmers with center pivots, computerized control systems, and other equipment, supports its local community by sponsoring high school and college courses…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Roger Sonnichsen of the Quincy–Columbia Basin Irrigation District

    The Quincy–Columbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID) is one of the three irrigation districts operating the Columbia Basin Project (CBP), which brings water resources to the Columbia basin. It serves about 250,000 acres, which grow over 45 crops. In this interview, QCBID Manager Roger Sonnichsen tells Irrigation Leader about QCBID’s current top issues and how it is continuing its essential services during the COVID‑19 pandemic. 

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 6 June Washington State Edition Roger Sonnichsen of the Quincy– Columbia Basin Irrigation District

    By Kris Polly  In this month’s Washington State edition, we speak with Roger Sonnichsen, the general manager of the Quincy– Columbia Basin Irrigation District (QCBID). Mr. Sonnichsen’s professional experience spans working for the state government, for Reclamation, and as a consultant for water resources planning, all of which has built his thorough knowledge and skill set. By constantly improving QCBID’s infrastructure, cultivating great employees, and carefully planning for years ahead, Mr. Sonnichsen is building the district’s future.  This month, we also look at New Zealand irrigation, which is known for innovation and adaptation. Vanessa Winning, who has been CEO of the industry organization Irrigation New Zealand since October 2020, tells…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 5 May Washington State Edition An Attorney Who Knows Ag From the Inside

    By Kris Polly  Toni Meacham is a highly respected ag and water attorney in central Washington State. She is also an active, fifth-generation rancher. Her personal and family background as well as her legal training gives her and insider’s knowledge of ag and water law, making her a highly effective advocate for Washington agriculture.  In this month’s Irrigation Leader, we also bring you the fascinating stories of our country’s small irrigation districts. Two of those districts are in Texas: Meredith Allen and Caroline Runge, the current and outgoing managers of Texas’s Menard County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, are working to repair the district’s historic irrigation canal, built…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 4 April Washington State Edition Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Representing Eastern Washington on the Energy and Commerce Committee

    . By Kris Polly  In this month’s Washington State edition of Irrigation Leader, I am pleased to present an interview of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers carried out by Washington State Water Resources Association Executive Director Tom Myrum. In it, Tom asks Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers about her priorities as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and about her advocacy for water and hydropower in Washington State.  Nebraska’s Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD), which manages water and natural resources issues across more than four counties, including Hayes County, where my family has farmed for five generations, is implementing thousands of McCrometer telemetry meters on its wells and across…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 3 March Washington State Edition Kristin Meira of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association: How Northwest Waterways Work for Irrigated Farmers

    Barge traffic on the Columbia and Snake Rivers is a major route by which Washington State’s irrigated crops are shipped to the coast and around the world, and the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA) is the trade association that brings together ports, businesses, public agencies, and individuals to support that traffic. In this month’s cover story, PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira tells Irrigation Leader about the association’s work and its importance for irrigated ag farmers.  This month, we also focus on the effects of two decades of drought on irrigators in the Rio Grande basin and the impressive efforts that irrigation district managers are carrying out to respond. According to…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 2 February Washington State Edition Jon DeVaney of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association

    In this month’s issue of Irrigation Leader, we highlight tree fruit, truly a jewel in the crown of Washington’s irrigated agriculture. As Jon DeVaney, the president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA), tells us, tree fruit makes up 25–30 percent of the approximately $10 billion in farm-gate ag value produced in Washington every year. The WSTFA advocates for the industry in Washington, DC, and Olympia while also helping to spread useful new technologies, processes, and ideas to its members, including water conservation technologies.  Next, we turn our eyes toward Montana. In 2017, after 75 years of receiving affordable project use power (PUP) from the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program,…