Gary Esslinger, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Retires; EBID is looking for a replacement


Excerpt from a press release from the Elephant Butte Irrigation District

The Elephant Butte Irrigation District is now seeking candidates to replace its longtime general treasurer, Gary Esslinger, who is preparing to retire after more than 40 years with the district. During his 33 years as District Manager, Esslinger has not only focused on the organization’s mission of providing surface water to its 6,700 farmer members, he has also helped them adapt and thrive in their quest for effective water management. He has led the district in forward thinking and planning, improving monitoring and measurement methods, collaborating in conservation efforts, educating the public, and developing programs like stormwater capture to help compensate for the current drought. Esslinger and the EBID team are dedicated to sustaining agricultural production with tools driven by data, technology and a passion to help evolve the region’s agriculture in a sustainable way.

EBID is currently recruiting qualified candidates to fill the position of Treasurer-Manager, District General Manager. This position is appointed by and reports to a nine-member Board of Directors made up of district members elected from each region of the district. The EBID Board is looking for a leader who can build on Esslinger’s strengths in collaborative leadership, Board of Directors, staff and member engagement, fiscal management and administrative skills, and someone who will further strengthen EBID’s ability to deliver water efficiently to all members.

Located in New Mexico’s lower Rio Grande Valley, EBID is a federal reclamation project and a New Mexico state political subdivision responsible for providing water to 90,640 acres of farmland in the counties of Doña Ana and Sierra. Farmers in the district grow a variety of crops including alfalfa, chili, corn, cotton, lettuce, melons, onions, pecans, and wheat.

BIDC operates under the laws of New Mexico for irrigation districts cooperating with the United States under reclamation laws and other laws that apply to local government entities. The district has repaid its debt to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation and now owns and operates the New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande project.

The treasurer-manager is responsible for continuing to direct efforts to develop a solid foundation for the current and future operation of the district. By implementing the policies of the Board of Directors, the officer will achieve the goals and objectives of the district and represent EBID not only to its members and employees, but also to government entities and the public.

The district is seeking a manager who will continue to address the concerns and issues of a diverse group of stakeholders in fulfilling EBID’s mission. Beyond overseeing staff, budgets, water rights and infrastructure, this position also requires a forward-thinking approach to developing, evaluating and implementing actions and procedures that will comply with national laws and and best practices for operating an irrigation district while serving the district. members in the future.

Esslinger’s long history of tactful and proactive leadership has set a precedent for exceptional communication, which will continue to be a requirement for anyone seeking this position. Individuals with a strong tax background, including planning, budgeting and strategic investments, with direct working knowledge of local government organizations are encouraged to apply. A general understanding of water rights and the complexities of managing a water distribution system will be sought among the skills of the new treasurer-manager.

Individuals interested in demonstrating the ability to lead, manage, and complete complex, long-term projects that will improve overall district operations are encouraged to apply by the 5 p.m. closing deadline on February 25.

A full job description and application is available at

For any questions, contact EBID General Counsel Samantha R. Barncastle at [email protected]



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