Lately Allen has focused more on remote sensing and works with almost all national and international organizations on the subject. He has provided documentation and training on the metric process (using remote sensing) to numerous organizations.

Building on the surface energy balance algorithm for land to create metric, Allen has operationalized the necessary means to investigate and reveal patterns of water consumption at large temporal and spatial scales, facilitating a necessary debate among policymakers based on facts rather than assumptions and opinions.

This process is proving valuable in the United States, and it will be critically important in areas of the world where infrastructure and institutions make it virtually impossible to generate such information through conventional means.

Chris Perry, emeritus editor-in-chief for Agricultural Water Management, alluded to the idea that Allen was one of the first to see beyond the narrow paradigm of increasing irrigation efficiency.

“He pointed out that the objective of ‘efficient’ irrigation is increased local consumption of water — and that it is consumption of water that must be reduced to release water to alternative uses, including the environment,” Perry said.

Allen has also played an instrumental role in aiding the IA educational effort by developing the center pivot training materials and by teaching classes.

Industry Achievement Award

Inge Bisconer, CID, CLIA

Established in 1966, this award recognizes an individual employed by or retired from an irrigation- related company and whose career demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of the irrigation industry and its products and programs. The nominee’s career ideally reflects contributions to a combination of industry products, practices, education, research and/or professionalism.

Inge Bisconer, CID, CLIA, technical marketing and sales manager for Toro’s Micro-Irrigation Business, is the 2016 recipient of the Industry Achievement Award.

In her 35 years in the industry, Bisconer has established herself as a leader at both the state and national levels in helping agricultural

growers improve profitability and sustainability through improved water and resource use efficiency.

“She has worked hard at educating the public about microirrigation. She also is an excellent writer, producing documents that my agency uses regularly,” said Clarence Prestwich, CAIS, CID, West National Technology Support Center irrigation engineer.

“[Bisconer] is an excellent technical writer and her recent publishing of the Toro Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual and chapter 11 of Irrigation Association’s Irrigation, Sixth Edition fully demonstrates those qualifications,” said Claude Phene, PhD, former water management research laboratory soil and irrigation scientist.

The Toro Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual is a comprehensive guide for both new and existing row, field and perennial crops and an example of Bisconer’s irrigation knowledge, interest and technical publishing capacities.

In addition to her written accomplishments, Bisconer is also a past president of the California Irrigation Institute, which is the oldest independent water and irrigation forum for California. She also served as the chair of the IA Drip/Micro Common Interest Group from 2006 to 2008 and vice chair from 2004 to 2006.

“Obviously, all those positions, assignments and achievements did not happen by chance, but were the results of outstanding qualities,” Phene said.

“In the years that I have known Inge, I have found her to be one of the most knowledgeable and qualified people in the irrigation business,” said Philip A. Burkart, former IA president.

IA President Jackie “Jay” W. D. Robbins II, PE, TSP, CAIS, CID, described his 30-plus years being associated with Bisconer in the professional world as a privilege.

Bisconer alluded to how humbling it was to be singled out among so many “deserving” people, as she put it. She places great emphasis on trying to work with others collaboratively toward common goals.

“I have found that in business people buy from people who help them, and challenges are rarely overcome by one person alone,” Bisconer said. “I would also caution that technology alone is only part of the solution to our many irrigation and water challenges — we must find a way to change behavior as well. Education, as always, will be the key, and the way we educate and learn is quickly evolving along with technology. It’s an exciting time to begin one’s career in irrigation!”

Nominations for the 2017 Irrigation Association and Irrigation Foundation awards will be accepted through May. More information can be found at






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