Dr. Stephen W. Smith, FASIC, CLIA, CAIS, will be awarded the American Society of Irrigation Consultants Roy Williams Memorial Award at this year’s annual conference April 25 to 27 in Minneapolis, MN.

Owner of Wade Water LLC and Buena Vida Farm in Fort Collins, CO, Smith continues to offer water resource and management consulting services. Specialties include irrigation and water rights engineering, irrigation automation and control (SCADA), and canal modernization.

Smith has 40 years of experience in irrigation engineering and water resources, beginning with the launch Aqua Engineering, Inc. in 1975. Aqua Engineering was originally created to provide highly specialized irrigation engineering services to a clientele that includes municipal and state agencies, universities and private developers. Prior to 1975, his work on the Colorado State University research faculty included irrigation research and evaluation of irrigation technologies.

A native of New Mexico, Smith’s professional experience includes irrigation projects throughout the U.S. and numerous countries in Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East. He served on the faculty at Colorado State University where he taught irrigation design for almost 20 years. He is currently the U.S. Head of Delegation to two International Standards Organization (ISO) committees involving irrigation and water reuse.

Smith is a prolific author, having published the textbook Landscape Irrigation: Design and Management in 1996, as well as technical papers. His PhD dissertation was written around a patent-pending approach to meeting municipal demands for safe yield water supplies without drying up farms.

He has been an active professional member and past national president of ASIC, and is a Society Fellow. Smith also has served on the Irrigation Association board of directors and as president in 2009. He holds three degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Colorado State University and New Mexico State University.

“We are such a close and dynamic industry,” Smith says. “Irrigation educators and practitioners are hungry for innovative ideas and technology that can be brought to bear affordably. That’s what drew me to ASIC in the 1980s – steadfast commitment to exploring and sharing irrigation innovation. The Society has always directed an unblinking focus on water conservation and unbiased, third-party support to clientele. The Roy Williams Award is quite gratifying and absolutely a milestone in my professional career.”

“Stephen is a premier innovator, educator and advocate for the irrigation industry, and especially worthy of ASIC’s highest award,” says irrigation consultant Doug Macdonald, principal at Aqua Engineering in Fort Collins, CO. “He’s truly a force for the advancement of the irrigation profession and cutting-edge water resource management.”

Named after an ASIC founder and one of the original independent irrigation consultants, the Roy Williams Award is given for significant contributions to the irrigation industry by an individual, organization or business.

Formerly the ASIC Industry Achievement Award, the Roy Williams Award was renamed after the Society’s founder and first president in 1988. Recent past winners include:

  • Jim Laiche
  • Dave Davis
  • Denne Goldstein
  • Bill Kubly
  • Dr. James Watson

The Roy Williams Award is not an annual accolade. It is given to an individual or organization as the Society deems appropriate. Any member of the Society may submit nominations in industry areas that include irrigation design and application, water conservation, research, academia, manufacturing, and all related fields. ASIC members and non-members alike are eligible for the Roy Williams Award.


American Society of Irrigation Consultant advocate and volunteer Linda Davis, event planner for Rain Bird Corporation, will be awarded the American Society of Irrigation Consultants 2015 Sam Tobey Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s annual conference April 25-27 in Minneapolis, MN.

Davis has used her vast hospitality knowledge and networks to help manage successful ASIC educational conferences for more than 10 years – first as an employee with Rain Bird and later as a volunteer after retiring from Rain Bird.

Davis joined Rain Bird in 1996 as corporate event planner, developing, planning and managing contractor, specifier and distributor events and trade shows. She also planned and executed special events, including large customer fetes with Rain Bird’s Tournament of Roses Parade entry.

Her talent and experience planning events across the U.S. have greatly benefitted the Society, making ASIC conferences more appealing, affordable and accessible, while enabling Society officers to concentrate on critical educational components of the conferences.

“When I became ASIC executive director, our annual conference venue had been arranged, but the program hadn’t been developed, there was no banquet site and no other plans had been made,” recalls ASIC member and former executive director Norm Bartlett, with Creative Sensor Technology in Rochester, MA.Linda volunteered to help. She graciously helped locate a banquet venue, and organized tour events and guided them. I couldn’t total up the number of volunteer hours Linda has donated to ASIC over the ensuing years.”

The Sam Tobey Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual or individuals whose long-term support of the Society’s principles and whose efforts to promote the goals of the Society are deserving of special recognition by his or her peers.

“I was completely surprised when notified I would be receiving the Sam Tobey Award,” remarks Davis. “My husband, Rick, and I have always enjoyed a special relationship with ASIC and its members. Rick became a professional member in 1975 and I attended many conferences with him. I feel pretty protective over the next generation of emerging irrigation consultants and will continue to do what I can to advance the Society.”

Recent past winners of the Sam Tobey Lifetime Achievement Award include:

  • Lynda Wightman
  • Jim Barrett
  • David Pagano
  • Russell D. Mitchell
  • Doug and Karen Moore

ASICThe American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) was formed in 1970. Its members are committed to representing the client in providing independent irrigation consulting services for the effective use and management of water and other natural resources. For more information on the American Society of Irrigation Consultants or this year’s award recipients/projects, please call 508/763-8140 or visit