Zanjeros: The men behind IID’s water system

Outlet: Imperial Valley Press

February 16, 2013

Manuel Escobar has, arguably, one of the most important jobs in the Imperial Valley, but not many people know what he does. Bankers are oftentimes left scratching their heads when they see his credit card application. “They say, ‘what is a zanjero?’” he says with a laugh and a shake of his head. Escobar is a zanjero. He delivers water to farm fields by opening and closing the Imperial Irrigation District’s water canal gates by hand, one at a time.