Irrigation Leader
  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 7 August Washington Edition 2019 Tackling Wapato Irrigation Project’s Challenges: Stuart Crane of the Yakama Nation

    For a century, the Wapato Irrigation District (WIP) has been delivering water to the diverse and productive agriculture of Washington’s Yakama Nation reservation. While some of WIP’s engineering and operating activities are handled by the Yakama Nation, it is a federally owned project operated primarily by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In our cover interview, Stuart Crane of the Yakama Nation Water Resource Program discusses the challenges this entails and describes the infrastructure projects WIP is currently undertaking. I also speak with Dr. David DeJong, the director of the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project (P-MIP), the tribal program that is managing the design and construction of over 100 miles of irrigation conveyance structures in…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Tackling Wapato Irrigation Project’s Challenges: Stuart Crane of the Yakama Nation

    Wapato Irrigation Project (WIP) was founded by the federal government in the early 20th century to irrigation the Yakama Nation reservation in central Washington State. Today, WIP diverts several hundred thousand acre-feet of water from the Yakima River and local creeks each year to service around 150,000 acres of irrigated agricultural land. While WIP is a federally owned project that is operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), some of the engineering and operating duties are handled by the Yakama Nation through the Yakama Tribal Engineering Program. This split between federal ownership and local service can sometimes lead to difficulties with efficient hiring, procurement, and maintenance. WIP’s infrastructure is…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 6 July Washington Edition 2019 Senator Jim Honeyford: Water Leadership for Washington

    Irrigation Leader’s cover story this month features Washington State Senator Jim Honeyford, who has long championed water management and infrastructure bills that benefit irrigation districts and water users across his state. Senator Honeyford tells us about the legislation he has supported in the past and his priorities for the future and gives his advice to any irrigation district that wants to make its voice heard in the state legislature. We also focus on the challenges of funding water infrastructure projects, starting with an interview with Matt Lukasiewicz of the Loup Basin Reclamation District. Loup Basin, which manages two subordinate irrigation districts, bought the title for its infrastructure from the Bureau…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Drought-Resistant Water Supplies for Yakima An interview with David Brown

    The City of Yakima’s Water/Irrigation Division provides drinking water and urban irrigation services to around 70,000 urban drinking water users and around 30,000 urban irrigation users. Currently dependent on water from snowpack, the city is implementing aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) strategies as climate change shifts winter precipitation toward rain instead of snow. The city is also working to replace Nelson Dam with a roughened channel diversion, reducing flood risks while benefiting endangered wildlife. In this interview, David Brown, the assistant public works director and manager of the Water/Irrigation Division, speaks with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly about the division’s services and current projects.

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 4 April Washington Edition 2019 David Brown: Drought-Resistant Water Supplies for Yakima

    D avid Brown of the City of Yakima’s Water/Irrigation Division knows that straightforward improvements can have dramatic results. In 1998, the city replaced 32 miles of wood-stave pipes with PVC and polyethylene and, in so doing, reduced its diversion from 23 cubic feet per second to 9. Today, the division is taking the same attitude toward implementing aquifer storage and recovery facilities and replacing the 1985 Nelson Dam with a roughened channel. As Mr. Brown explains in our cover story, these improvements require money, but their payoffs are significant. The rest of this issue focuses on an Irrigation Leader tour of Chile that took place in February. Chile stretches 2,600…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District’s Commitment to Water Conservation An interview with Lori Brady

    The Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District (SVID), located in Washington’s Yakima Valley, serves 14,000 primarily agricultural accounts. In 1977, the Washington State Department of Ecology filed an adjudication of the Yakima River basin to determine all existing surface water rights and their respective priority dates within the basin. After a decades-long process, the Superior Court of Yakima County has issued a conditional final order that confirms surface water rights in the Yakima basin. The final order is expected this year. In 2003, the Sunnyside Division Board of Control, of which SVID is the operating entity, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Yakama Nation reached a…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State


    T he readers of Irrigation Leader know that our field is always advancing—whether because of decades-long conservation and infrastructure projects or because of technological leaps that improve the equipment in the field. In our cover story this month, we talk with Lori Brady, the manager of Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District, which has embarked on an ambitious, 40-year project to enhance its infrastructure and make it more efficient. A more efficient delivery system means that individual farmers can also use water more efficiently. Ms. Brady tells us about how her district’s new automated check structures and the enclosed laterals it is currently installing serve both environmental and economic ends. We also…

  • Photo of the Kaima Klikitat Fisheries Project Sign.
    Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Cooperating to Restore the Yakima Basin An interview with Phil Rigdon

    Phil Rigdon has over two decades of experience in the Yakama Nation's Department of Natural Resources. and today is the department’s superintendent. He has been involved in numerous regional and intertribal initiatives, including the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, the Yakima River Basin Watershed Enhancement Project Workgroup and Conservation Advisory Group, the Washington State Columbia River Policy Advisory Group, the Intertribal Timber Council, and the Hanford Natural Resource Trustee Council. In recognition of his commitment to cooperation in managing the water resources of the Yakima basin, Mr. Rigdon was the 2018 recipient of the Washington State Water Resources Association’s (WSWRA) Water Resources Leadership Award for excellence in water resources management. In…

  • Screenshot of flipbook reader for Irrigation Leader Washington State February 2019
    Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 2 February Washington Edition 2019 Leading Cooperation in the Yakima Basin

    Phil Rigdon is the superintendent of the Yakama Nation’s Department of Natural Resources, which employs over 500 people and works on fisheries, water, forestry, and environmental protection. Under Mr. Rigdon’s direction, the department has been undertaking tributary supplement and aquifer recharge projects in the Yakima basin in order to serve the Nation’s out-of-stream needs, benefit agriculture, and restore native salmon to vast areas of Washington State. Mr. Rigdon has also been pivotal in cooperating with neighboring irrigation districts to pursue shared goals. We discuss all this and more in this month’s Irrigation Leader cover story. In this month’s issue, we also speak with a number of executives, professionals, inventors, and…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Cultivating Leaders for Washington State The AgForestry Leadership Program

    In 1976, a group of individuals lead by Stu Bledsoe, the director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, identified the need for a program to develop leaders for the agricultural, forestry, and natural resources sectors of the state's economy. To meet the need, they created the AgForestry Leadership Program. Through immersion in a series of seminars throughout Washington State, in Washington, DC, and internationally, participants in the program become fully versed in communications, public policy, and issues management, and are trained to be leaders for their community. Joshua Dill, the managing editor of Irrigation Leader, spoke with Sheryl McGrath, president of AgForestry Leadership, about the cutting-edge program she leads.…