Acequia Interdisciplinary Research

Acequias are the traditional water management system of rural northern New Mexico. Their communal governance and ‘ditch irrigation’ management systems provide unique physiographic and cultural elements to help understand the effects of changing mountain hydrology on land and water use, ecosystem change, and stream flow. Acequias may play a central role in the interactions between surface water and groundwater and may modulate and change the timing of the transmission of hill slope runoff to stream flow.

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Acequias in science and culture

Throughout New Mexico, small and large scale agricultural irrigation constitutes the greatest portion of water use by far, and agriculture has profound impacts on the natural hydrologic systems of the State. Coping with and adapting to climatic changes for all human activities will depend, in part, on a superior understanding of these highly inter-related human and physical systems and how they simultaneously interact.

NM EPSCoR Acequia Research Participants: