Working with Acequia de Tecolotito

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I would like to write about a community that I have had worked with on a project for about a year now. Acequia de Tecolotito, not to be confused with Acequia de Tecolote, this acequia begins in San Miguel County and continues for 7 miles into Guadalupe County. This acequia runs approximately 7 miles into the communities of Los Ranchitos and Anton Chico. Historically they have had a Comisión General which included a commissioner from each acequia set up rules to operate under. They are hoping to revive the old custom which includes repartamiento de agua or the sharing and distribution of water. They divert from the Pecos River which was adjudicated in the 1932 Hope Decree and will undergo a re-adjudication in the very near future. Keeping waters flowing means having a good functioning acequia and a good team of commissioners and mayordomo and support from the parciantes. My colleague Patrick Jaramillo and I along with Quita Ortiz have loaned support to this acequia with infrastructure planning, mapping and with updating bylaws. They had a meeting yesterday which I attended and presented the bylaws that I helped draft. The annual meeting was like any other, with an election of Commissioners, discussion of who is delinquent, what parts of the acequia need attention etc. Then after listening to all of this plus their discussion of reinstating their old customs I presented the bylaws. I read as fast as I could so we could get out of the meeting before midnight but was cautious to take time and discuss the sections that needed attention. Bylaws not only help protect their rights it, they are an agreement among members on how they are going to vote, how they will vote when the meeting will be held, what their rights and obligations are and how they will operate. At the end of this meeting they voted to adopt bylaws and kept their Commissioners and mayordomo who have been serving for one year. I am hoping to attach photos of the acequia that I took this summer in June. It was a hot day and I was amazed at how this acequia flows through rough terrain and the mayordomo was as spry as a kid jumping in and out of the ditch. Hats off to a community who is working together to keep their farming alive.

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