Flashback to the late 1980s, when this large rural irrigation district is putting in a SCADA system to digitally control the gates on irrigation canals -- and a project manager pilot fish has to sell the concept to users.

"As PM, it was my job to give a demonstration of the capabilities of the system to the very skeptical farmers and irrigation managers who made up the district," fish says.

"To make it worse, I and my company were from the East Coast and were seen as interlopers trying to force our ideas on the farmers."

The demo is set for a cold winter day, and the farmers are waiting at the district office when fish arrives to set up his demo: a SCADA unit and a miniature model of an irrigation canal with all the types of equipment the system will operate.

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