Irrigation Leader
  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 13 Issue 3 March Washington State Edition

    By Kris Polly While this magazine often focuses on central Washington, east of the Cascades, there is also important irrigated agriculture to the west. This month, we speak with Jenna Friebel, the executive director of the Skagit County Drainage and Irrigation Districts Consortium, about how her agency helps support the 12 special purpose districts that provide dike, drainage, and irrigation improvements to growers in Skagit County. This month, we are also pleased to bring you an interview with the 24th commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Camille Calimlim Touton. Ms. Touton is from Nevada and is a well-known friend of the western water community. She has many years of experience…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 13 Issue 2 February Washington State Edition

    By Kris Polly Anna Franz is a Moses Lake–based attorney with a family-farm background and long experience in water law and municipal law, including significant work with irrigation district clients and work as a young attorney with the great Richard Lemargie. In our cover story, she tells us about her background, her current work, and the trends she expects to affect irrigation districts in the future.  This year, Nebraska’s national resources districts (NRDs) are celebrating a half-century of achievements in soil and water conservation work with open houses, events, and more, as we learn in our cover interview with Dean Edson, the executive director of the Nebraska Association of Resources…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Futurewise: Enabling Development While Conserving Agricultural Land and Water

    Washington State’s population is growing, and a significant part of that growth is occurring in exurban areas where it threatens agricultural land and animal habitats. Futurewise is a Washington State–based organization that focuses on enabling sustainable community development while also protecting the state’s land and water resources. It advocates for long-term development plans and smart laws and regulations that will allow residential and commercial growth to coexist with agriculture. In this interview, Alison Cable and Tim Trohimovich tell us about Futurewise’s origins and current work. 

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Alex McGregor: An Advocate for Irrigated Ag Informed by 140 Years of Family History

    Alex McGregor’s family has been involved in agriculture in the inland Northwest for 140 years. That means that the McGregors have seen central Washington transformed from a dusty wasteland to one of the nation’s most productive farmlands. Meanwhile, they founded the McGregor Land and Livestock Company and the McGregor Company, which provides agronomic supplies and experience to 2,000 farm families in the Northwest. Mr. McGregor has also worked intensively with the Columbia Basin Development League (CBDL) and other stakeholders to support the full development of the Columbia Basin Project (CBP) through the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Project (OGWRP) and to promote Washington’s irrigated agriculture and the many livelihoods it supports. 

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 13 Issue 1 January Washington State Edition

    By Kris Polly Alex McGregor is the chairman of the McGregor Company, a multigenerational agronomic supply company that provides materials and experience to 2,000 farm families in the Northwest. He is a tireless advocate for Washington State’s irrigated agriculture as well as being a tremendous storyteller. I know you will enjoy this month’s cover interview, in which Mr. McGregor tells us about his 140 years of family history in the region and his work today.  In this issue, we also talk to a number of Nebraska water professionals. Nebraska-based water lawyer Tom Wilmoth is also a cofounder of Zipline Brewing, which has created 36 jobs with its brewery in Lincoln…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Whooshh Innovations’ Proposal for Fish Passage on the Lower Snake River

    Whooshh Innovations, based in Washington State, manufactures innovative fish passage structures that safely move migratory fish through tubes over dams in seconds, rather than the hours or days required by conventional fish ladders. In response to recent multibillion dollar proposals to breach four dams on the lower Snake River, Whooshh has countered with a $67 million plan to install its Passage Portal systems at the dams instead. In this interview, Whooshh Cofounder and CEO Vince Bryan tells us about how Whooshh’s proposal stands to protect fish and free up water while preserving hydropower on the Snake River. 

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 12 Issue 10 Nov/Dec Washington State Edition

    By Kris Polly Since 2011, the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID) has played a major role in implementing the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Project (OGWRP), an initiative to build out the Columbia Basin Project to its full dimensions and bring surface water to the Odessa subarea, where groundwater pumping has begun to seriously deplete the local aquifer. In this month’s cover story, we interview ECBID Secretary-Manager Craig Simpson about progress on OGWRP.  In the Southwest, long-term drought in the Colorado basin is starting to bite, with automatic cuts in water deliveries kicking in after August’s tier 1 shortage declaration. To learn more, we speak with Tom Buschatzke, the director of…

  • 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…