Attending Global Acequia conference

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It was great to be invited to this conference organized by Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez, the New Mexico Acequia Association, and New Mexico State University.  It was great to see respected colleagues such as Steve Guldan and Carlos Ochoa of NMSU who have been doing hydrological studies on acequias in Alcalde and Arroyo Hondo for some years now.  It is from their studies that I learned approximately 15% of the water in the acequias goes to groundwater recharge.  This is something that acequieros have always known as acequias in many places are important in recharging our local domestic wells.

It was so interesting to learn from the many presenters about acequias in Bali, France, Peru, Morocco, and Spain.  I was particularly intrigued when the topic of “tipping points” and “extinction” of acequias came up.  I think of the fact that Santa Fe, NM used to be irrigated by many acequias and now there are only two.  And I think of the 55 acequias in Taos and where we may be at in the process of tipping points and extinction.  In particular is the Spring Ditch which is almost completely lost (see http://www.lasacequias.org/quevivan/%C2%A1que-vivan-las-acequias-28/).  Then there is my acequia which I am trying to do my part to keep viable, but it is not clear what the future holds…

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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