Faces of Water Q&A – October 2017

  • by Brad Kirby
  • Oct 20, 2017
  • Newsletters

Brad Kirby, Manager, Tulelake Irrigation District


Telling the stories of the people who work to deliver California’s water…

1.) Describe your job.

I am the Manager of the Tulelake Irrigation District (TID) located in “northern, Northern California” within the Klamath Reclamation Project. I administer all policy, budget, employee, operations and maintenance activities of the district for the ultimate purpose of delivering irrigation water to the family farms and ranches in TID. TID currently employs 31 individuals on a full time basis and typically between six and eight individuals on a seasonal basis. Our system consists of approximately 243 miles of canals, 334 miles of drains, 26 miles of dikes and 36 pumping plants providing service to over 63,000 acres of irrigable agricultural land spanning portions of three counties in two states (CA and OR), of which 46,000 acres are privately owned and 17,000 acres are federal publicly leased land in the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

2.) What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy the broad spectrum of duties and working relationships that come with the seemingly simple responsibility of delivering water to farmers in TID. From running water, pulling moss, and troubleshooting in the field to developing and influencing policy at district, local, state and federal levels, and from working directly with our district patrons to coordinating with other districts, local, state and federal government agencies, tribes, a power utility, conservation groups and many more. In short, everything.

3.) How did you get into the water industry?

I received a phone call from a friend in the summer of 2007 and when I answered he promptly handed his phone to the then long-time TID Manager, who asked me just two questions: “I heard you are majoring in Civil Engineering, is that right?” and “Do you want to be the Manager of TID?” I simply answered “yes” to both, and everything fell into place from that point forward. I worked for TID as a seasonal employee that winter and the following two summers until I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and started full time as the Assistant to the Manager on June 1, 2010.

4.) What is something unique about yourself?

Professionally, I am proud to have the honor of being included in the extremely exclusive TID Managers Club as the most current of only five district managers in the 65 year history of TID since it was formed in 1952. Personally, I got to run the bases at AT&T Park with Batkid the day he saved Gotham City (San Francisco) from the Riddler and Penguin. (Side note: Batkid’s father is the friend that I received the phone call from which started my career in the water industry.)

5.) What is your favorite food?

Tulelake/Klamath Basin Potatoes.

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