Noticias de las Acequias – New Mexico Acequia Association – April 2013

To view online, click HERE

In This Issue…

New Technology & Old Acequias
Global Perspectives Acequia Symposium in Las Cruces
Soil Prep for Summer Success
Ranching, Drought, and Early Run-off
Food Sector Opportunity at TCEDC
NAP Deadlines for Crops


New Technology & Old Acequias

Article and photos by Juan Estevan Arellano

The above photo shows a partidor in the town of Aldama in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Partidores were also common in northern New Mexico at one time. This is an example
of our acequia landscape heritage that has been lost.

Farmers, like artists, have always been open to try new technologies in order to
improve their harvest, soils or ways to preserve their produce. But how have these
new technologies impacted the acequias?

Since the beginning of recorded history, when new technology is introduced there
has always been a conflict between the new and the old. For example, when the plow
was introduced, the hoe was upset. The plow and hoe haven’t always gotten along,
as can be seen in a very early trovo, “The Disputation Between the Hoe and the
Plow,” which comes to us from biblical times. Here is a sampling; in the first one
the Plow makes fun of the Hoe, then the Hoe responds that he can do more than the

Hey! Hoe, Hoe, Hoe, tied up with string;

…..Hoe, child of the poor, bereft even of loincloth;

“O Plow, you draw furrows – what is your furrowing to me?

You cannot dam up water when it escapes,

You cannot heap up earth in the basket,

You cannot press clay or make bricks

You cannot lay foundations or build a house

…..O Plow, you cannot straighten a street.

Today’s new technology runs the gamut from drip irrigation to hoop houses; genetically
engineered seeds to social media. Most new technology also depends on how it is
used and at what scale. Take for example drip irrigation, it can be beneficial to
save water on a small scale but what effect will it have on a massive scale? Who
benefits from the saved water? No one knows, but according to Professor Thomas
F. Glick from Boston University who has studied the Valencian agricultural landscape
for over 50 years, “Goteo (drip irrigation) is a fad. In Spain, it has resulted
in wholesale abandonment of surface canals which has interfered with the hydrological
cycle and changed local weather patterns to the detriment of the agriculture it
was supposed to benefit.”

A recent study (2008) at Cambridge University, edited by Partha Sarathi Dasgupta,
“Water conservation in irrigation can increase water use.” On the Upper Rio Grande
Basin he writes, “[a]s pressure mounts for irrigated agriculture to produce more
crop per drop, there is a widespread belief in environmental and water policy circles
that if irrigators made more efficient use of water then there would be more water
for environmental uses and for cities.”

However, the study continues, “[i]n contrast to widely-held beliefs, our results
show that water conservation subsidies are unlikely to reduce water use under conditions
that occur in many river basins. Adoption of more efficient irrigation technologies
reduces valuable return flows and limits aquifer recharge. Depending on the crop,
water applied under drip irrigation is approximately half as much as under flood
irrigation. However, crop Evapotranspiration (ET) is higher under drip irrigation…ET
under flood irrigation is typically less than half of water applied; the rest either
seeps to deep percolation or returns to the stream as surface return flow.” Besides,
“[production costs per acre are typically much higher under drip than under flood

The study concludes that “[i]n river basins where downstream users and future generations
depend on the unconsumed portion of diversions in the form of returns to the stream
and raised aquifer storage, subsidies for conservation technology investments are
unlikely to bring about a new supply of water but will likely lead to increased

“Our findings from the Rio Grande Basin suggest that water conservation subsidies
are unlikely to reduce water depletions. . . These findings suggest that some programs
subsidizing irrigation efficiency are likely to reduce water supplies available
for downstream, environmental, and future uses. Although water applied to irrigated
lands may fall, overall water depletions increase. Our findings suggest reexamining
the belief widely held that increased irrigation efficiency will relieve the world’s
water crisis.

“Drip irrigation is important for many reasons, including greater water productivity
and food security but does not necessarily save water when considered from a basin

“A major question for efficient public policy is whether or not the increase in
net farm income compensates the forgone benefits of reduced return flows and seepage.
This is a question facing water science, water policy, and water administration.
Where reduced return flows and lost aquifer seepage block another’s water use,
conservation poses a serious question for water rights administration because those
effects are often hard to measure and often occur with considerable delay. Answering
this question requires sorting out conflicting impacts of water application versus
water depletion and an understanding of the transmission of those effects at the
basin scale.”

Above photo shows a “tunel” through which the acequia of Valle Allende in Chihuahua,
Mexico goes through on  it’s way to the town. In Embudo, the Acequia Junta y Ciénaga
used to go  through a similar rock tunnel until it was destroyed  in 1948 when the
road was paved.

What effects have modern communications technology had on an old system such as
the acequias? Before, the parciante who wanted to use the water had to go and talk
to the mayordomo in person, engage in a dialogue, always a learning process. Today,
the parciante simply picks up the phone and calls the mayordomo and asks for the
water. I don’t know if any text message the mayordomo. But that personal interaction
and dialogue has been lost and as a result the acequia community is becoming more
alienated. And as the communications among and between parciantes and mayordomos
has declined, the infrastructure of the acequia has suffered.

Then there’s social media such as Facebook, which allows easier communication, but
it is also possible for the wrong type of information to spread that might harm
not only the acequia but also the community. There has always existed mitote, or
gossip, in every community but now with Facebook, information whether beneficial
or detrimental is spread globally at the speed of sound.

There’s nothing wrong with embracing new technology, but start slowly, especially
when it comes to the most valuable resource we have which is water. Last year a
mayordoma said that her dream was to have every parciante in her acequia on drip
irrigation. This type of thinking might be premature without further study. Let’s
be cautious but not afraid of new technology, but let’s not turn the dream into
a nightmare.

Global Perspectives Acequia Symposium in Las Cruces
Quita  Ortiz

Participants gather in Las Cruces for the Global Perspectives Acequia Symposium.

In early March, over one hundred participants gathered in Las Cruces to attend “Acequias
and the Future of Resilience in Global Perspective,” a symposium and workshop surrounding
a NMSU research project, “Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems” (CNH) of
which NMAA is a partner. The purpose of the symposium was to generate a global dialogue
concerning communal water management systems around the world; as well as allow
for our local scholars and community leaders to advise on future research and policy
efforts necessary to ensure a viable future for acequias.

Following a panel of CNH team members, who presented research results surrounding
hydrology, economics, ecology, and socio-cultural efforts about the project (for
an overview of this project click here []),
the symposium featured international scholars who presented their research relating
to community water management systems that exist in other regions of the world and
how they’ve been impacted by their changing political and economic landscapes; as
well as how they have remained resilient.

Luis Pablo Martínez, Directorate General of Cultural Heritage in Valencia, Spain
touched on the history and values of Spain’s water sharing culture, including a
historical background on the irrigation systems in Spain and the significance of
its heritage. Since the 1960’s the acequias in Valencia have experienced impacts
resulting from urbanization including fragmentation of agricultural lands, called
“huertas”; and new technologies that were mean to increase irrigation efficiency,
but instead produced unintended consequences including landscape impoverishment
and decreased autonomy among local irrigators. Recently, there have been efforts
laid out to safeguard Valencian acequias and Martinez emphasized the role of organizational
principles among the acequias there including societal commitment to acequias, agro-diversity
and bio-diversity, ecology, community organizing-all of which mirror acequia values
held in New Mexico.

Dr. Paul Trawick, Associate Professor of Socio-cultural Anthropology at Idaho State
University, presented a comparative analysis of successful community-based irrigation
systems in Valencia, Spain and Huaynacotas, Peru. These regions differ widely with
respect to “scales andlevels of complexity”, yet both experience water scarcity
and have long-standing success with water sharing in an arid environment. Trawick
refers to this as the “moral economy of water” which consists of a set of operating
principles for managing water in an equitable and sustainable manner. These principles
include contiguous and equitable water distribution, rotation, proportionality,
transparency, drought adaptations, etc. These principles are similar to the practices
typified by New Mexico’s acequias, as well as in other parts of the world including
India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Philippines, and Bali; all of which are self-organized
and governed locally, but are also under threat from a number of causes.

José Luis Arumí Ribera, Professor and Chair of the Water Resources Department at
the Universidad de Concepción in Chillán, Chile, has researched the connection
betweenthe lack of understanding groundwater-surface water interactions and social
problems and conflict in an Andean watershed of Chile. Ribera presented a case study
of the Diguillín River watershed, in which thermal waters for tourism has impacted
the valley including increased residential and commercial land uses. Additionally,
the watershed’s proximity to porous volcanic rock deposits further impacts the hydrologic
functions. Because these processes are not adequately understood, many conflicts
over water availability have surfaced, yet there’s still ongoing commercial development
taking place.

Dr. Stephen Lansing, professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of
Arizona, has examined responses to environmental and social challenges by a number
of community irrigation systems, called subaks, situated along a Bali river with
the consideration that the upstream communities were older and more demographically
stable compared to those downstream. Lansing found that the newer, downstream communities
exhibit less adaptive capacity to changes in the environment and social landscape
compared to the older, more stable communities.

Dr. Jacinta Palerm, social anthropologist and Professor of Rural Studies at the
Colegio de Postgraduados in Mexico, presented her research on the importance of
a long-term legal framework for irrigation system institutions. She correlates the
relationship between consistent long term legal frameworks and community-managed
irrigation systems with powerful establishments (e.g. Spain and the U.S.). Yet
in Mexico, in the face of an unstable legal framework, there exists informal water
management systems regardless of whether or not they have concrete agreements (i.e.
bylaws) in place or official recognition by the State. They still illustrate resilience
by their sheer existence.

Associate professor of anthropology at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Hsain Ilahiane,
gave an overview of the community-based irrigation systems in his native Morocco.
Dr. Ilahianehas researched the impacts of communal labor exploitation on irrigation
management. He asserts that ethnicity, religion, and social status influences access
to and management of water resources. Yet, despite the inequities of the social
structure which begs for reform that that would garner equality; with respect to
water management, the irrigation systems in south-central Morocco have remained

The symposium was concluded with a presentation by Dr. Thierry Ruf, Associate Professor
in the Institute for Higher Education in Tropical Agri-food Industry and Rural Development
in Montpellier, France. Dr. Ruf has studied the core principles of the social, economic,
and political organization of irrigation in an attempt to understand if late economist
Elinor Ostrom’s principles are still relevant today.

Following the symposium was a workshop intended to stimulate dialogue among New
Mexico’s acequia leaders, community members, and university-based researchers to
ensure that the coming years of acequia research in New Mexico answer the questions
and concerns of our acequias.

NMAA Executive Director, Paula Garcia, stated that our collaborative research must
include data that makes the case for our cultural values, but not simply in a manner
that romanticizes the culture. She also called for the need to study the dynamics
of water masters and mayordomos; and to create the space and resources to address
issues facing our communities.

Esteemed farmer and historian, Estevan Arellano, acknowledged the tremendous need
to protect acequia water rights, and study the role of language in the state’s acequias
in order to truly regain or reaffirm the concept of the repartimiento, which refers
to acequia water sharing practices. He also mentioned the issue of food security
and its relationship with water availability, and expressed concern about the role
of drip irrigation and how it might impact the groundwater supplies in the long

Carlos Ochoa, Research Assistant Professor of Hydrology at NMSU, gave a stark overview
of the nearly-extinct acequias in his native Casas Grandes, Mexico. He asserted
that, before it’s too late, we need to understand the whole acequia system so that
we can take this information to legislators to implement sound policies.

Taos native, Miguel Santistevan, stated that in order to address these issues, we
need to first address the fundamental problem of how water is viewed and administrated
in New Mexico. He acknowledged that there’s a great interest in revitalizing agriculture,
but the lack of water availability can impede such efforts.

Workshop panelists had the opportunity to reflect on the symposium presentations,
as well as discuss future needs regarding acequia policy and research.

Designer/Planner, Arnold Valdez, reminded us that watersheds boundaries do not align
with political boundaries; so if we think globally we must act regionally, not locally.
He was referring to the need for future studies to include Colorado acequias in
the research. Assistant Professor of International Management at UNM, Manuel Montoya,
said that acequias throughout the world have clearly illustrated the ability to
self-govern, but the urgencies surrounding these systems need to be articulated
and we need to make the case about why acequias are distinctly global.

Anthropologist Sylvia Rodriguez, a retired UNM professor, expressed the need for
researchers to seek out their research questions from those they wish to study,
diverging from the currently flawed research process exemplified by colleges and
universities. Sam Fernald wrapped up the workshop by acknowledging that the last
10 years of acequia research focused mostly on the natural sciences, and he recognized
the needs and comments of the panelists regarding the data gaps that need to be
fulfilled in the coming years.

This symposium was organized as part of a 4-year multidisciplinary study of acequias
in New Mexico. We hope to continue this dialogue and maintain a good working relationship
with our university colleagues to make certain that the ongoing acequia research
advances the efforts of NMAA for the benefit of our acequias. The symposium and
workshop were audio-recorded and can be heard at

Soil Prep for Summer Success
Serafina Lombardi

Photo by Quita Ortiz.

Maybe you already have “peas ‘o poppin'” like Paul Romero of Española – but you
also most likely have fields and beds that need to be worked up and made ready for
the growing season. Building soil health gives us an abundant harvest in the short
term; and protection against the drought in the long term. Building soil health
is a year long process. Below are a few things you can do to get the soil ready
for seeds to flourish.

When most of us think of soil preparation we think of disking, tilling, and making
furrows. The days are getting warmer and longer, and all of us are ready for planting
and the reward of our homegrown foods, but is our soil ready? One of the greatest
factors of soil health is the microbial life, fungal and bacterial activity that
enables the plants to access nutrients, provides protection from compaction, and
increases water holding capacity, to name a few benefits. If we till when the soil
is too dry we risk killing off much of the beneficial soil life in addition to losing
topsoil due to drift. If you can, wait to till until we get a little moisture. If
you have the capacity or are working a relatively small area you can use your prefered
method of irrigation to get a little water on the ground and let it sit for a day
before you work it.

“No-till” is one of the soil care options that is catching on. If you are prepping
a medium sized vegetable garden you may want to invest in a broad fork. This is
a two-handled digging/aerating implement with a horizontal metal “fork” at the bottom.
This tool enables you to loosen the soil for aeration, promoting deeper water filtration
without the disruption of soil structure that can be caused by tilling.

The first thing any soil scientist will tell you is “get your soil tested! How can
you know what your soil needs without knowing what is in your soil . . .?” Most
of us are familiar with our soil’s composition, but here are two ways to learn more.
The test most of us are familiar with is for nutrients, which will let you know
what types of amendments your soil might need. For this test you take a soil sample
and send it to a lab (Ward Laboratories Inc. is one of the more affordable options).
Another type of soil test looks at biological, physical and chemical characteristics
of the soil and must be done on site – this is a more comprehensive overview of
your soil health. Contact your local Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) office
if you are interested in this test. Also, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation
District as many of them will have instructions for how to take a soil sample and
offer a reimbursement for the cost of a soil test. These are some basics concerning
what is good for soil health and can help you to tailor your soil building plan
to the needs of your site.

If you have a piece of land that provided ample support to your crops last year,
you might consider giving it a rest to build soil fertility, suppressing weeds,
preventing erosion and attracting beneficial insects with a cover crop. There is
no one right cover crop – but nearly all will do your land some good. Some prefer
a “poly-culture”, for example a mixture of leguminous crops such as field peas that
fix nitrogen in the soil along with vetch or hairy vetch which does a great job
at weed suppression and creating organic mass to be incorporated with the soil.
Oats and buckwheat are great in a spring cover crop once the weather is warm. Buckwheat
fixes phosphorus, something most of NM soil is deficient in.

For fun, for the birds and for cut flowers throw in some sunflower seeds. Peas and
oats can also be used in flower arrangements while oats and buckwheat can be harvested
for grains. All these flowers make great forage for pollinators, but some say you
get the maximum benefit if you cut before 10% of the plants are flowering. What
a cover crop will cost you in water and seed it will repay you with soil health.
With a fast growing cover crop you could still have time to rotate another crop
if you have a long enough season.

Ranching, Dought, and Early Run-off
Jason Jaramillo

Photo by Quita Ortiz.

Martín Duran and his family have been ranching in Chacon, NM for four generations.
I first met Martín at his family’s corral in Mora. It was a crisp winter morning
when pulled up to the sight of two heavy duty trucks, a semi-truck referred to
as the “Mobile Matanza”, and three terneros confiados.

This was part of Martín’s venture into local meat markets and an adaptation to the
new, all natural, grass fed beef movement. According to him, “It’s working out pretty
well.” He began ranching with his grandpawhen he was young and his ranching operations.
Local parciantes are now in his early forties. For a short time, he did construction,
and returned to ranching three years ago. “All I’ve ever known is the ranch,” said
Martín. He was born in Colorado and moved to New Mexico when he was four. He thus
feels like a native New Mexican. He’s a member of two acequias: Acequia de la Joya
and Acequia de las Lunas. He uses the water from both for his farming and cipating
April 1st as the time for the first runoff this year.

According to the Office of the State Engineer and the Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS), New Mexico is in a severe drought with early runoffs, low water
flows, and low reservoir levels. According to Martín, “There is always a concern
about drought.” He says that seasons are getting shorter and shorter. He used to
irrigate to September and now only into June, maybe early July. He stated that they
used to open the head gates in mid-April and this year they will open earlier to
use the early runoff. Drought does not only affect him at the home but also when
he grazes in the National Forest.

The United States Forest Service has its rules when it comes to grazing. Some are
specific to the rancher and his heard. According to Martín, the USFS requires four
inches of grass before they allow any grazing. If it is dry, then less growth is
predicted, and thus ranchers have to wait longer to graze. This can impact local
fields negatively because it leaves less time for them to rest, grow, and regenerate.
This in turn is leaving many in the area no choice but to sell off their herds.

Feed is expensive and more of it is needed in colder climates because cattle do
not seek food under the snow which can last for several months. If the fields cannot
grow adequately in the spring and summer months, then there is little to no feed
for them in the winter. This can be an expensive and even devastating reality when
faced with drought conditions. Martín predicts less head allowed to graze on Forest
Service land this year and possibly starting at a later date.

Martín considers himself both a farmer and a rancher. He says that there is some
debate about which is which. He is a rancher because he takes care of his cattle.
He also has a few horses used to work the cattle. Martín implements a cow-calf operation.
This means that the mamas have the calves in the spring and then he sells them in
the fall. He is a farmer because he grows oats, winter wheat, and cuts and bails
his own hay.

He has a system in place that allows him to graze his cattle on local and national
forest pasture as well as producing food for his animals. Around June 1st, he herds
his cattle up 9,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation in the Carson National Forest adjacent
to his land. October 1st the herd is brought to fields further away from his house
on his land and he slowly weans the calves away from their mamas for a couple of
weeks. He leaves the mamas on the far pastures and takes the calves to Clayton
to sell. In December and January he brings them closer to his house and divides
them amongst 4 small pastures. Here is where they stay until April 1st. Then they
are sent back out to the far fields. The first cut of hay is around July 1st. Martín
hopes that more locals will embrace local meat.

According to Martín, “If the ranch is for you and you know we are not going to get
rich, but if you’re happy doing it, do it.”

Juliet Garcia-Gonzales

Photo by Miguel Santistevan.

Our acequia culture is filled with beauty that fuels our work to maintain all that
is important to us. Our delicious and local food is at the core of our culture and
recharges our spirits as well as literally recharges our bodies. There is rich knowledge
of growing, harvesting, processing, preserving, hunting, gathering and preparing
food in our communities. This richness is something that we all hope to share with
our youth.

During the week of February 18th – 22nd, myself and Augustine Gonzales, a member
of the Sembrando Semillas youth group, attended a Food Sector Opportunity Project
class at the Taos County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC), in Taos NM. This
week-long program is offered to people who are interested in making a product for
market. It is a course with heavy detail to making sure that people who are interested
in selling specialty items know about government regulations, the science and effects
of bacterial growth, and the importance of food packaging and labeling. We also
learned about the history of food, and how to take a product from a recipe to a
formula and more!

TCEDC has been offering this class since 2000, and we were the 26th class to graduate.
The class is offered free of charge for all community members. There were 36 people
in our class, all with interesting and innovative ideas. Some were there to try
to make and sell salad dressings, pickles, pies, cake mixes, carne seca, cookie
mixes, seasoned pumpkin seeds, ice cream, chocolate sauce, condiments and much more.

We were inspired by success stories from local owners and operators, and our refreshments
every day were products coming from the TCEDC kitchen. We sampled tamales, salsas,
granola bars, gluten free coffee cake, jellies, and breads.

There was a strong desire by the students to have fresh local ingredients for their
products, the topic of which brought up information about the USDA’s move toward
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification. All of the ingredients used for
products to be sold will have to be purchased from GAP certified farms. We also
learned about the TCEDC’s Mobile Matanza and how they are helping ranchers process,
cut and package their livestock for personal or commercial markets.

Our class ended with a graduation ceremony at the TCEDC kitchen. Directors Pati
Martinson and Terrie Bad Hand along with Native Chef Loretta Barrett Oden, awarded
us certificates of completion along with a white chef hat. For our celebration we
had a wonderful potluck, where we had the opportunity to taste test many of the
upcoming specialty foods.

Because I have completed this course we now have access to the TCEDC certified kitchen
and equipment. The kitchen is available for a small fee, which includes technical
support by TCEDC. We can make use of the kitchen for activities related to Sembrando
Semillas to process our food for events, canning demonstrations, drying, etc. Our
Sembrando Semillas products could be potential fundraisers for our youth. Most importantly,
access to this facility will allow us to be together in the kitchen, passing on
the love and knowledge of food.

This class offers communities the opportunity to use our knowledge and love of healthy
food as a way to increase our income while still being able to maintain our cultural
values. I am grateful to have completed this course and share all that I learned
with our youth.

USDA Deadlines & Announcements

Upcoming NAP Deadlines The NAP program (non-insured crop disaster insurance) provides
financial assistance to producers of small yield, specialty crops, that aren’t typically
insurable through most USDA programs. The average cost per crop is $250, not to
exceed $750 per year. Here’s a list of upcoming crop deadlines: April 15th

-Basil, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cilantro, eggplant, gourds, honeydew,
okra, pumpkins, strawberries, turnips, watermelon.

CRP General Sign-up Period, May 2nd-June 14th The Conservation Reserve Program USDA
is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally
sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term,
resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion,
and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments
and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years.

SURE Program Sign-up Period Deadline, June 7th The Supplemental Revenue Assistance
Payments (SURE) Program is authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act
of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) to provide assistance to producers suffering crop losses
due to natural disasters. SURE is available for crop losses due to natural disasters
occurring through Sept. 30, 2011.

For more information or technical assistance regarding these programs, feel free
to contact the NMAA Farmer/Rancher Outreach staff at (505) 995-9644.

USDA Designates 12 NM Counties as Primary Disaster Areas
Source: USDA News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 12 counties in New Mexico
as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent
drought: Bernalillo, Grant, Luna, Sierra, Catron, Hidalgo, Otereo, Socorro, Doña
Ana, Lincoln, Sandoval, and Valencia.

“Our hearts go out to those New Mexico farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural
disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed
to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining
the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these
difficult times. We’re also telling New Mexico producers that USDA stands with you
and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt
your livelihood.”

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in New Mexico also qualify for natural
disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are: Chaves,
Eddy, McKinley, Santa Fe, Cibola, Guadalupe, Rio Arriba, Torrance, De Baca, Los
Alamos, San Juan.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Feb. 27, 2013,
making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest
emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility
requirements are met. Farmers Program (TAP). Production losses due to disasters
occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.

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Producers’ Forum

“Celebrating Land-based Life Ways”

April 5th & 6th

TCEDC Business Park

This event is open to the public and is set to feature a number of presenters and
demonstrations.  CLICK HERE []

Gas stipends are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Co-sponsored by the Taos County Economic Development Corp and the New Mexico Acequia
Association. For more info call (575) 758-8731 or email

Farmer/Rancher Outreach Workshop

“Land-based Opportunities Workshop”

Saturday, April 13th

2:00 to 3:30pm

Ancianos Center

Chamisal, NM

Learn how to access programs intended to help grow and sustain your farm or ranching
operation, and join a discussion on Farmer/Producer challenges.

Co-hosted by NMAA and the National Immigrant Farming Initiative. For more info contact
Serafina Lombardi at (505) 995-9644 or email

National Pesticide Forum

Farms and Food:
Resilient Communities Through Organic Practices
April 5th & 6th
Albuquerque, NM
Hosted by Beyond []
Pesticides  []
For more info and to register for the event click here [].

Earth Day Workshop at
Ghost Ranch

“Water’s for

Cooperating Over”

April 5th – April 7th
This program will examine historic instances in which societies have come together
to share nature’s most precious resource. Folklorist Jack Loeffler, Anthropologist
Rina Swintzell, and Historian Estevan Arellano will present stories which highlight
such social systems, explode the myth of water conflict and point toward a future
with ‘just enough’ water for human and nature’s uses.
Click here []
for more info

EQIP Organic Incentive Program

Application Deadline April 19th
If farmers and ranchers  are certified organic, self-certified organic, or in transition
to  organic certification, they are eligible for cost-share opportunities  and conservation
planning through the NRCS Environmental Quality  Improvement Program (EQIP) to cost
share infrastructural and operational  improvements. The EQIP program assists with
the expenses of Hoop Houses,  Drip Irrigation systems, Acequia Lining/piping, updated
compuertas,  laser leveling, cover cropping, and much more. Please contact the NMAA
Farmer Rancher Outreach Program at 505-995-9644 or email

USDA Claims Process

Hispanic and Women Farmers/Ranchers Claims Deadline Extended to
May 1, 2013.
See press release []
for more info.

NM Geological Society Spring Meeting

“Hydrology and History of the Rio Grande”

Friday, April 12th

Macy Center

New Mexico Tech

Socorro, NM

A  keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Fred Phillips, who recently  published
a book titled “Reining in the Rio Grande:  People, Land, and  Water”.  In addition,
invited talks in this session will  be presented by Dr. David Gutzler, Dr. Tom Maddock,
Judge Matt  Reynolds, Dr. Jose Rivera, and Dr. Frank Ward. For more info contact
Please contact Nelia W. Dunbar with questions at 575-835-5783.

Training: Open Meetings and Inspection
of Public
Records Acts

Hosted by the Attorney General’s Office

Thursday, April 25th

1:30pm 3:30pm
Northern NM College
Joseph Montoya Building-Room AD 101 -1 Española, NM

The training is offered to local governments, members of government boards and commissions,
and the general
public at NO CHARGE. Please RSVP to the Civil Division’s La Verne Roller at Irolleitnmap.aov
or 505-827-6063.

Technical Assistance


The  NMAA offers technical assistance on Acequia Governance and USDA   programs
for landowners. If any of these questions apply to you or your   acequia, please
submit a Request for Technical Assistance [].

Become a Member!

Become a member of the New Mexico Acequia Association []!
Parciante  and Supporter Memberships are $20/year and includes a quarterly newsletter
subscription. Membership for an Acequia is $40/year including a  newsletter subscription
for all four officers.

The NMAA is a  charitable, educational non-profit organization that relies on  membership
contributions and foundations for its general operating  expenses. We  rely on folks
who join as members and to contribute membership dues and  donations to support
our work. It has never been more important to have  a united front to protect our
acequias and strengthen our food and  agricultural traditions.

New Mexico Acequia Association

Concilio (Board of Directors) []

Antonio Medina

Harold Trujillo

Don Bustos

Alfredo Montoya
James Maestas

Jackie Powell

Gilbert Sandoval

Facundo Valdez

Stephen Trujillo

Medardo Sanchez

Yolanda Jaramillo

Staff []

Paula Garcia, Executive Director

Julia Mullen, Associate Director

Cheryl James, Program Director
Janice Varela, Acequia Governance Specialist

Quita Ortiz, Communications & Project Specialist

Pilar Trujillo, Project Specialist

Lucille Trujillo, Membership Coordinator

Juliet Garcia-Gonzales, Community Project Coordinator

Alejandro Lopez, Project Coordinator

Carlos Bustos,

Acequia Governance Staff

Patrick Staib, Farmer/Rancher Outreach Coordinator

Jason Jaramillo, Farmer/Rancher Outreach Staff

Serafina Lombardi, Farmer/Rancher Outreach Staff

Allayne Scott, Business Manager

Lori Spillman, Event Coordinator

Elena Misumi, Bookkeeper

Call  us at  505.995.9644 to schedule a meeting with us. We do one-on-one   consultations
with acequia officials on water rights, water management,   bylaws, easements, infrastructure
planning, and referrals to other   resources.

Thank You!!!

The New Mexico Acequia Association greatly acknowledges the support and dedication
of the many parciantes and supporters who are NMAA members and who have made donations.

Thanks to our foundation supporters including (in alphabetical order) Catholic Campaign
for Human Development, The Christensen Fund, Marguerite Casey Foundation, New Mexico
Community Foundation, McCune Foundation, Panta Rhea Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg

We also greatly appreciate the financial support provided to us by state and federal
sources: the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach; and
the State of New Mexico’s Department of Finance Administration.


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New Mexico Acequia Association | 805 Early St | Suite 203B | Santa Fe | NM | 87505


About M. Elwell Romancito

Lives in Taos, New Mexico and has since 1986. Artist, musician, and writer. Romancito has worked as a freelance writer for many regional publications, including a long-standing relationship with the award-winning weekly newspaper The Taos News, where she contributes regularly about local events, the arts and the local music scene.
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