Columbia Basin Project, photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation
Grand Coulee Dam, photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation
Lake Kachess, photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation
Tieton River, photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation
Registration for the 2017 WSWRA Annual Conference and Membership Meeting is now available online
Join us December 6 - 8, 2017, at the beautiful Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA
Be sure to check out the Washington edition of Irrigation Leader magazine HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PASSING OF WSWRA PAST PRESIDENT AND FORMER ROZA IRRIGATION DISTRICT MANAGER RON VAN GUNDY
Contact: Tom Myrum, Executive Director, Washington State Water Resources Association; 360-970-4394 or Scott Revell, WSWRA Vice President and Roza Irrigation District Manager, 509-840-2721
PASSING OF RON VAN GUNDY - The Washington State Water Resources Association (WSWRA) President and former Roza Irrigation District Manager Ron Van Gundy passed away July 6th, 2017 at the age of 73. Ron was WSWRA’s third President from 1986-87 and served on the board of directors from 1982 to 2013.
Ron received the WSWRA Distinguished Service Award at the WSWRA Annual Convention last December in Spokane. Ron was the 2001 recipient of the WSWRA Water Resources Leadership Award for excellence in water resources management. He was honored by the Northwest Irrigation Operators with the Headgate Award in 1996.
WSWRA President Dave Solem said, “We are saddened by the passing of a man who stood tall in the water resources community for decades. He will be remembered for his drive toward efficient water use, developing new water storage in the Yakima basin and his collaborative approach toward achieving those goals.”
Ron’s impact on water resources in the Yakima Valley and across the state may initially be measured by his drive toward innovations in water management but may be best measured by his unwavering desire to improve relationships across boundaries within the industry. Ron has been a moving force behind the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan and legislation to help it down the road to success. Ron will be missed by all of us who have known him. His humor and intelligence will leave a lasting impression.
The Washington State Water Resources Association is the coordinating agency for irrigation districts in Washington state.
HISTORY WITH ROZA IRRIGATION DISTRICT - Ron went to work for the Roza Irrigation District a week after returning to Sunnyside in 1968. Ron’s predecessor, Hank Vancik, was looking for a young manager to replace him as Hank planned to leave the district in about five years. Ron began working with the district’s engineer and assistant manager at that time. He started taking a two-year extension course on civil engineering which he completed quickly.
Ron took over the assistant manager role upon its vacancy in 1971. Hank Vancik put off his retirement beyond the expected date and so the board increased Ron’s salary to the level of other irrigation district managers in the state in anticipation of his eventual succession to manager.
Ron was appointed to the position of district manager in 1982 and continued to hold that position until he retired in December of 2002 due to health issues that needed attention that made full time employment difficult. At the request of the board of directors, Ron remained with the district part-time dealing with political issues facing Roza and other districts in the Yakima Valley. Ron’s new role particularly focused on the Yakima Basin Water Enhancement Project that will provide the district with a more reliable water supply. The broad goals of the project will provide enhanced fisheries and habitat improvements throughout the valley as well as improved water supply.
Ron completed 49 years of employment with the Roza Irrigation District this past April.
Be sure to check out employment opportunities HERE