spring 2013

Upcoming Events
& Announcements

New Mexico Acequia Association

Disaster Assistance Available

The recent rain we've experienced throughout the state has been a true blessing. Albuquerque broke an 84-year precipitation record, and many other parts of the state received well over their annual average in just a few days. As thankful as we are for the much-needed moisture, it came with hardships resulting from the floods that followed the rain.  


Governor Susana Martinez has declared a state of disaster due to flooding from recent rain storms. Covering the entire state, the declaration makes funding ($750,000) available for local communities through the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. To read the full text of Executive Order 2013-31, click HERE.


Acequias may be eligible for emergency funding available for recovery and repairs resulting from the recent flooding. Acequias officials should communicate with the emergency manager from their county as soon as possible to let them know the extent of the damage to their acequia. A list of contacts, by county, at the NM Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management can found HERE. The Application for State Disaster Assistance is available on our website


Visit the following websites to view interactive maps, tables, and charts for information about recent precipitation accumulations and river streamflow:










Aftermath of Rains Vary Among Acequias
The NMAA has been made aware of a number of impacts resulting from flooding around the state. Some in the Las Vegas area are still under water, so damage assessments can't yet be made. Additionally, a levee broke along the the canal that delivers flood water to Storrie Lake, which prevented a much-needed water capture opportunity. Some acequias in both Truchas and Chimayo are dealing with silt, one of which is completely silted and will require a significant cleaning effort before it's useable again.
Cinder Road near the Gallinas River.
The image above shows a flooded Cinder Road near the Rio Gallinas in Las Vegas. Photo by Sharon Aragon.

Rio Embudo summer 2013
Above (left) shows a near-empty Rio Embudo as it was just 7 days ago. The photo at right, taken at the same location, was taken last Friday, September 13th. Photos by Leroy Leonard.
Some acequias, on the other hand, were fortunate to have received a lot of moisture without any major flood damage. In Dixon, according to Acequia de la Plaza Commissioner, Leroy Leonard, "There has been steady rain in the head waters of the Embudo with not so much flash flooding in the arroyos over the last few days. So, the water coming down the river is still quite high, but not heavy with silt as it was in the beginning. It is still quite variable however. Last night there were some more storms and overnight the flow at the gauging station went from about 170 to 400 CFS at around 2:00am. Then it started falling again. As of today, it is running 227 CFS. So, it is still quite a bit higher than yesterday.

He added, "We did have our culvert at the presa uncovered when the Arroyo Lorenzo ran quite hard during the flooding on Friday.  We need to cover it again and have some big rocks placed in front of the culvert on the up-stream side to assure that it never fully washes out in the future. We have an estimate of $1,500 to do the work. We must assure that in future floods the flow in the arroyo does not undermine the culvert. That is why we would place some very large rocks across the the arroyo parallel to the culvert just on the upstream side."

We urge those acequias who did incur damage to contact their county's emergency manager for information about available disaster relief options (see article above).
Water data on the Rio Embudo over the last several days. To look up the precipitation information in your area, visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nm/nwis/rt  
Financial Reporting & Audits for Acequias
Join the New Mexico Acequia Association for a workshop: 


Thursday, September 19th 
The Lodge at Santa Fe
750 N. St. Francis Drive
9:30am to 12:30pm 

The purpose of this workshop is to inform acequias about requirements in state law related to the Office of the State Auditor and the Department of Finance and Administration.  Acequias who are receiving Capital Outlay funds are required to follow these laws in accordance with an Executive Order issued by the Governor in May 2013.


9:30am    Welcome and Introductions

9:45am    Basic Financial Management for Acequias - NMAA

10:15am   ICIP and Capital Outlay Tips - NMAA

10:30am  Audit Rule Compliance - Evan Blackstone and Natalie Cordova, Office of the State Auditor

11:00am   DFA Budget and Reporting Requirements - Isaac Montoya, Department of Finance and Administration

11:30am  Acequia Project Management - Ray Acosta and Beatriz Vigil, Interstate Stream Commission 

12:00pm   Question and Answer Session

12:30pm   Closing




Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plans: The deadline to complete an ICIP is on September 30, 2013. The ICIP is a useful tool in preparing and planning to request funding for an acequia construction project. The State Legislature and various state agencies are strongly encouraging local governments to submit an ICIP if your acequia plans to request Capital Outlay funding during the 2014 legislative session. NMAA is available to help prepare an ICIP for your acequia and we recommend the following:

  •  Contact NMAA for assistance in obtaining a username and password for the DFA website used to enter the ICIP information.
  •  Hold a public meeting of your Commission or membership to come to an agreement about the needs on your acequia.
  •  Write a description of your project and get a cost estimate. You can get advice on this from your local NRCS office, the Interstate Stream Commission, or a private engineer or contractor.
  •  Set up a consultation with NMAA staff to begin preparing your ICIP. NMAA staff are available throughout the month of September for 2 hour consultations in our office in Santa Fe.
  •  Hold a public meeting of your Commission to approve a resolution adopting the ICIP before September 30, 2013.

Capital Outlay: If your acequia is planning to submit a request for Capital Outlay during the 2014 legislative session, first complete your ICIP. It is also important to communicate with your Senators and Representatives to let them know you will be submitting a funding request. After your ICIP is completed, you will need to complete a Capital Outlay Request Form. NMAA staff can assist you with this form.


Audit Rule:To receive Capital Outlay, any local government, including acequias, must be in compliance with the Audit Rule according to the Executive Order by Governor Susana Martinez. Although this has always been a state law, it is now being enforced by the state. The Office of the State Auditor has a tiered system of reporting. While most acequias will only require submission of a letter to the State Auditor, others over a certain spending level will be required to do a financial report or audit.    


DFA Budget and Reporting Requirements: Similar to the Audit Rule, state law requires that local governments meet budget and reporting requirements. This has not been enforced in the past but the state is now making DFA compliance a condition of acquiring Capital Outlay.  


To assist acequias in meeting the Audit Rule and DFA requirements, NMAA is hosting a workshop on Financial Reporting and Audits Workshop on September 19th, 2013. The purpose of the workshop is to inform acequias about these requirements. Representatives from three different agencies will give brief presentations and will be available to answer questions.  


Please let us know whether you plan to attend this workshop by calling the NMAA office at 505-995-9644.

Acequia Photo Contest - $250 grand prize
Dia de San Isidro
Enter your photograph and you could win a $250 prize and your photo will be featured in a 2014 acequia calendar!

Photo Categories

Acequia Landscape

Photos in this category include the acequia landscape that show off your farm or ranch, including but not limited to scenic photos of your crops and/or animals.


This is an opportunity to capture the unique acequia features that show off the ingenuity of our ancestors' traditional engineering. This category includes anything and everything about your acequia - some examples include photos of your limpia, unique infrastructure, first opening of the acequia in spring, picturesque winter photos, etc.


Photos in this category include photos of parciantes irrigating fields, and other photos related to irrigating.

Food and Seed Traditions

Photos in this category should cover acequia food traditions. Examples include making chicos, food preservation, harvesting, close-up photos of your produce, seed saving, etc.


 Submissions must be sent electronically, in high resolution jpeg format. Please email photos to quita@lasacequias.org along with the following information:
  • Name of photographer
  • Acequia Name
  • Region (if applicable)
  • Town
  • County
  • Photo Description

Participants are limited to one photo per category.

Terms and conditions: Upon photo submission, you agree to the use of your photo(s) in NMAA materials including but not limited to publications, calendar, website pages, and outreach materials. Photo credit will be given where appropriate.


Congreso de las Acequias
congreso 2013

The New Mexico Acequia Association will hold its annual meeting, the Congreso de las Acequias, on Saturday, November 23rd at the Bishop's Lodge in Santa Fe (Tesuque area). See agenda below. This year, we hope to bring together our members, NMAA delegates, and supporters for a discussion about the different facets of acequias as a complex system that merges land, water, and people. We encourage you to attend this event. There will be a registration fee of $20 per person to cover the cost of food.  


Online registration opens on October 4th at http://www.lasacequias.org/congreso-de-las-acequias 



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Open Meetings Act Workshop  


 Free workshop hosted by the New Mexixo Attorney General's Office  


1:00 to 4:00pm
Convention Center
912 N Main St.
Roswell, NM 
Please RSVP to La Verne Roller at  lroller@nmag.gov  

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, contributing dues that 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.