• Taos Acequias

Rio Grande del Rancho Visita

Parciantes have a lively discussion and exchange of ideas

The Taos Valley Acequia Association held a community Visita for the parciantes of the Rio Grande del Rancho stream on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Coordinated by the Leadership and Education Committee, the event took place in the Llano Quemado Community Center from 2:00 to about 4:15 PM. Between 38-45 people attended, although only 28 signed in. While the majority of attendees were from the acequias on the RRG, there were also a few parciantes from the other stream systems, including several members of the TVAA Board. Taos News reporter Cody Hooks also attended, and referred to the event in an article about acequias the following week.


Like the Rio Chiquito visita and four more planned for 2017, the purpose of the meeting was to consult with mayordomos, commissioners, and parciantes of the RRG regarding concerns about their acequias; to stimulate stream-wide conversation about common issues; and to help inform the TVAA as it charts its future post-Abeyta path of service to Taos valley acequias.


Refreshments included coffee, lemonade, tea, water, and homemade biscochitos. A map of the RRG system was on display along with a few handouts of interest on an information table. A comment box was also available.


Craig Smith graciously provided live accordion music. During the break Olivia Romo delivered a moving performance of her celebrated poem, “Bendicíon del Agua.”


Only one person mentioned the Mitigation Well issue, noting that while no one else brought it up, surely it was on everyone's mind.

Recurrent concerns

After the break the most frequently mentioned concerns were listed, ranked, and summarized. They included:

  1. Acequia participation

  2. Delincuencias

  3. Need to update acequia records (membership, current owners, water rights registration, etc.)

  4. Easement violation; encroachments; obstruction of desagües caused by development

Finally, parciantes were invited to offer ideas and suggestions for how these issues might be addressed. Ideas that emerged included:

Participation

  1. Year-round events to encourage participation

  2. Start cleaning earlier

  3. Public, community-wide acequia related events, such as at TCA

  4. Farmers market

  5. Develop acequia-related social media platforms to attract youth

  6. Incentives to youth: awards; school recruitment of crews; payment

  7. Mentorship

  8. Court mandated community service (la cultura cura approach)

Delincuencias

  • Door-to-door approach

  • Customized installment payments; water banking

  • Property liens

  • Legal recourse

  • Education of, cooperation by title companies & realtors


Records

  • Problem non-coordination of Hydrographic with County assessment records

  • TVAA can offer assistance with change of ownership; subfiles

  • TVAA & NMAA help with Bylaw updates; workshops

  • Legal Aid

  • Public education

  • Radio


Development and encroachment issues

  • County land use code

  • State water laws

  • Holding enforcers accountable

  • Local acequia due diligence always necessary to monitor

Taos Valley Acequia Association

Founded in 1989 as a 501(c)(3), the Taos Valley Acequia Association has a mission to ensure the long-term sustainability of the traditional agricultural communities of the Taos Valley by protecting water rights and preserving and strengthening the acequia systems. This work is accomplished through community education, the adjudication of water rights, and collaborative partnership with communal, local, state, and tribal entities.

Email: info@taosacequias.org

Phone: 575-758-9461

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