Irrigation Leader
  • 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…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Larry Martin: The Skills of a Top Water Lawyer

    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. 

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 11 Issue 3 March2020 Water Banking at Oroville-Tonasket

    In our cover story this month, Jay O’Brien of the Oroville- Tonasket Irrigation District tell us about how his district is putting its unused water in trust and using it to gain revenue while also helping water users in need downstream. It is a promising setup that will be of interest to other Washington State water right holders.  This issue of Irrigation Leader also brings you a number of features on groundwater. In northeastern Nebraska, an area called the Bazile Groundwater Management Area, suffers from nitrate infiltration into its groundwater. We bring you interviews with the managers of four local natural resources districts (NRDs) that have joined forces to engage…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 11 Issue 2 February 2020

    Lorri Gray has been working for the Bureau of Reclamation since high school. Today the director of the Columbia–Pacific Northwest region, she knows the agency inside and out, and it is always a pleasure—and an educational experience—to speak with her. In our cover story, she talks about the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Plan, the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, title transfer, and the Columbia River Treaty.  Another person of great experience we have the privilege of interviewing in this issue is Daren Coon. He has been at Idaho’s Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District for 44 years and has been its secretary-treasurer and secretary of the board for more than three decades. During…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 11 Issue 1 January 2020 Manager Issue

    The irrigation that makes agriculture in the West so productive could not exist without irrigation districts. And no irrigation district could function without the presence of a manager.  Irrigation district managers must understand everything from 100-year-old concrete infrastructure to cutting-edge supervisory control and data acquisition systems. They must manage relationships with boards of directors, customers, employees, and regulators. They must look ahead to discern the kinds of training their employees need to become the leaders of the future. And they must adapt, adjust, and learn every day. With such a universal role, a good manager is the key to an irrigation district’s success. With that crucial role in mind, we…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 10 August Washington Edition 2019 Wendy Christensen of the Bureau of Reclamation: Working Together on the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan

    The Yakima Basin Integrated Plan (YBIP) is an impressive feat of coordination and cooperation. Its basic aim is simple—to guarantee enough water for people, fish, and agriculture—but behind that simple summary there are many parties, many interests, and a lot of history. With the leadership of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington Department of Ecology and the support and input of the Washington State Legislature, the counties of central Washington, the irrigation districts and irrigated farmers of the Yakima basin, Native American tribes and environmental and citizen groups, the YBIP has moved forward and now promises to ensure the future of the Yakima basin for generations to come.  In…

  • Featured,  Washington State

    Giving Back to the Community as a Member of the KID Board of Directors By Raman Venkata

    Raman Venkata came to the United States in 1968 as a graduate research engineering assistant studying at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Over the next 50 years, he worked for multiple nuclear engineering firms and for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) before retiring and being elected to a spot on the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) board of directors. In this article, Mr. Venkata tells us about his compelling life story, his professional accomplishments, and his current priorities as a KID director.

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Growing Washington’s Economy: Chris Voigt of the Washington State Potato Commission

    Potatoes are one of Washington State’s top crops. Grown primarily in central Washington with Columbia River that point, potatoes are directly dependent on irrigation infrastructure and technology. The cultivation and processing Potato provides 36,000 jobs to Washington State. Growers and worked there for about 3 years. The Washington State Potato Commission is the industry association responsible for promoting research into potato cultivation, advocating with state and federal agencies, and marketing potatoes. In this interview, Chris Voigt, the director of the Washington State Potato Commission, speaks with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about potatoes’ economic and nutritional importance—and the time he ate nothing but potatoes for 60 days!

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 8 August Washington Edition 2019 Growing Washington’s Economy: PChris Voigt of the Washington State Potato Commission

    The cultivation of potatoes—one of Washington State’s top crops, supporting 36,000 jobs in the state—is directly dependent on irrigation infrastructure and technology. Columbia River water has turned the desert landscape of central Washington into a bounteous agricultural region. In this month’s cover story, Chris Voigt, the director of the Washington State Potato Commission, tells us about how potatowes are grown, irrigated, harvested, and processed in Washington State. Much of the rest of our September issue focuses on New Mexico, home to some of the nation’s oldest Reclamation infrastructure. In our cover story, Dale Ballard tells us about historic Carlsbad Irrigation District (CID), of which he is manager. CID was founded in…