Paloma Irrigation & Drainage Dsitrict

The Paloma Irrigation & Drainage District (PIDD) claims water rights on the Gila River dating back to the late 1800s and annually diverts an average of 185,000 Acre-Feet/Year for 27,000 acres. The District canal system was the largest privately funded irrigation project in Arizona history, costing private owners about $2 million in 1919. It was formally recognized as the Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District by Maricopa County in May of 2001. PIDD lies in the vicinity of Gila Bend, Arizona, with its diversion point on the Gila River being about 25 miles south of the confluence of the Gila River and Hassayampa River. It is downstream of the Aqua Fria River and the Salt River. Return water flows back into Bull Durham Wash, which is tributary to the Gila River. The most important crops grown in our district are Alfalfa, Corn, Cotton, Sorghum, Millet, Milo and other small grains. Crops can be grown year-round in this warm dry climate with little need for frost protection.

Currently, the Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District operates and maintains 99 miles of irrigation ditches and canals; 100% are lined with concrete. PIDD has the right to divert essentially all the water that arrives at Gillespie Dam on the Gila River and supplements it with water pumped from wells so that it produces approximately 185,000 acre feet per year to irrigate approximately 27,000 acres. Efforts to conserve water are challenging in PIDD’s antiquated control systems, but PIDD works closely with its Water Users, USBR and other agencies to be proactive in addressing these issues.


On-Call General Engineering Services

GEORGE CAIRO ENGINEERING, INC. (GCE) is currently serving as the District Engineer and we also provide support on related technical services including the development of District Standards on an on-call as needed basis. GCE also supports the Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District (PIDD) in their management of urbanization impacts inclusive of permitting, planning, design, and construction services efforts. All relocations or modifications to the Districts facilities due to development and urbanization are designed by GCE. In addition, impacts to the Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District's operations and maintenance are evaluated, and construction inspections are performed to ensure compliance with plans and specifications.

Furthermore GCE is responsible for the coordination and due diligence for the United States Bureau of Reclamation review and permitting approval process for impacts to federally owned interest. GCE developed collaboratively with the District a permitting and federal due diligence review and assistance program. Relocations or modifications to the Districts facilities due to development and urbanization are reviewed by GCE for compliance with federal permitting requirements for acquisition, abandonment, relocation and or facilities modification.

Representative GCE projects completed for the Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District include the following:

  • Insert Project(s)


George J. Cairo, P.E., D.WRE
1630 South Stapley Drive
Stapley Center, Suite 117
Mesa, Arizona 85204
480.921.4087 (Fax)
602.690.6661 (Cell)

Robert VanHofwegen, District Manager
Paloma Irrigation & Drainage District
38401 West I-8
Gila Bend, AZ 85337

District Website

No website is currently available.
If you have further questions, comments or concerns regarding this district please contact Mr. Robert VanHofwegen (contact information shown above).