How are acequias governed?

How are acequias governed?

In most villages, the acequia association, made up of three elected ditch commissioners, a mayordomo [superintendent or “ditch boss”], and the parciantes [irrigators] themselves, is the only form of local government at the subcounty level.

What were acequias used for?

The acequias of New Mexico are communal irrigation canals, a way to share water for agriculture in a dry land. Excavated in the early 18th century, this acequia is in the village of Corrales, along the Rio Grande.

What is the job of the mayordomo?

The mayordomo plays a key role in the New Mexican community acequia com- plex. The mayordomo and commissioners manage all ditch business. They supervise la saca, preside over meetings, resolve minor disputes between parciantes, and organize repair jobs.

How do acequias help out agriculturally?

Each acequia has a mayordomo (ditch boss) and a commission, which oversee the delivery of water, settle disputes, and maintain the ditch. These ditches also help to restore aquifers and riparian areas. Acequias are, in short, the living history of New Mexican heritage and agriculture.

How do people who run acequias handle water output during drought years?

Acequias capture their water by thrusting barriers out into local rivers, forcing water to pool at the side and run into the channels dug centuries ago. Neighbors who share an acequia traditionally clean out the ditch every year around early spring.

How do acequias in northern New Mexico contribute to the culture of this region?

The community acequias in the State of New Mexico are the oldest water management institutions of European origin in the United States. The irrigation technology employed by the waves of settlers was gravity flow by way of earthen canals or acequias.

Why are acequias important in New Mexico?

Acequias (pronounced ah-SEH-kee-ahs), have a long history of delivering water for flood irrigation dating to the colonization period during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They have helped people in New Mexico and other parts of the arid Southwest to endure times of both plenitude and scarcity.

Why is acequias important to NM?

During the Spanish and Mexican colonial period, acequias, which are canal-like structures used for irrigation, were often the first to be collectively constructed along with churches or homes. Growing food was so important that digging out the acequia to bring water to crops was a priority.

What does a mayordomo do with Acequias each spring?

In fact, even cleaning an acequia is a community affair. It’s tradition for an acequia mayordomo, or manager, to organize a work crew each spring to dig out silt, brush and debris from the acequia, preparing it for spring runoff.

How much does a majordomo make?

Majordomo Salaries

Job Title Salary
Line Cook salaries – 1 salaries reported $17/hr
Busser salaries – 1 salaries reported $18/hr

How long have acequias been used in New Mexico?

New Mexico’s community-operated acequias, some over 300 years old, demonstrate how farmers can fairly share this unpredictable resource.

Is New Mexico running out of water?

The warming climate that has kept New Mexico in a drought for the past 20 years and is depleting water supplies will continue into the next half-century and must shape long-term planning, state officials said in a virtual hearing Wednesday.

What is an acequia and how does it work?

Following contours of the land, a traditional acequia will water a variety of locally-adapted crops (including organic farms), support the biodiversity of riparian vegetation, birds, and other wildlife and recharge local groundwater and natural streamflow.

What makes New Mexico’s acequias unique?

Today they are part of what make our local communities and the local landscape so incomparably unique. Acequias, which refers to both irrigation ditches and the community of farmers organized around them, have been called the lifeblood of northern New Mexico.

What is the law of the Acequia in water law?

The customary law of the acequia is older than and at variance with the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation, and the statutes promulgating acequia water law represent a rare instance of water pluralism in the context of Western water law in the United States (see Hicks and Peña 2003).

Where does the Spanish word acequia come from?

The Spanish word acequia (and Catalan séquia) comes from Classical Arabic as-sāqiya, which has the double meaning of ‘the water conduit’ or ‘one that bears water’ and the ‘barmaid’ (from ‏ سَقَى ‎ saqā, ‘to give water, drink’). The Arabs brought the technology to Iberia during their occupation of the Iberian peninsula.