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Take action before June 29th on cannabis, water, and equity!!

In a special session earlier this year, the State Legislature legalized adult-use cannabis a.k.a. recreational cannabis. Now, the State is taking public comment on a set of draft rules to implement the new law.
It is important for acequia leaders to participate in this process to guide the state toward a cannabis industry that protects our precious water resources and that fosters an economy that is more inclusive and equitable for small, rural producers. To read comments already submitted by NMAA, click here: Amended Final NMAA Comments on Cannabis Producer License Rules June 16 2021
Join the New Mexico Acequia Association as we share information about the public comment process including talking points about water and equity and tips on how to submit comments through the Cannabis Control Division website, email, and snail mail. Click here for the instructions on submitting comments.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
10:00am – 11:30am
Join virtually by Zoom or phone
Overall, NMAA is requesting in our comments that regulations should be consistent with the language of the state law that was recently passed, the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA). NMAA worked hard to advocate for language in the new law that protects water and requires that rules include provisions for social equity.
The June 29th hearing should be delayed until the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee is created and has an opportunity to review these proposed rules.
Prevent illegal uses of water. The CRA requires specific protections to ensure that cannabis growers have a a legal right to a commercial water supply, water rights or another source of water and that they provide the following as part of their license application: 1) documentation from the State Engineer or 2) documentation of compliance with the rules of the water provider for that use.
Hold licensees accountable for the amount of water they use. To effectively implement the CRA, NMAA is recommending that regulations require license holders provide documentation of the estimated amount of water usage for cannabis production and that they include water use data in quarterly reports to the regulation and licensing department.
Ensure smaller growers have the opportunity to benefit from the cannabis economy. Although the CRA lacks robust equity provisions like in other states that legalized recreational cannabis, the CRA does require that the Cannabis Control Division to promulgate rules encouraging agricultural producers from economically disadvantaged communities.

ACTION ALERT – Support HB 30, Water Lease Due Process

House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:30 am via ZOOM
Join the meeting at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82072641109
Or use your telephone by calling this number: 1-669-900-9128
Webinar ID: 820 7264 1109
 Call, text, and email committee members 
in support of HB 30!!
“I support HB 30 because it is important to protect water rights and due process.”
“Please support HB 30 and protect existing water rights.”
Derek Lente, Chair
505-986-4341
505-507-3063
Susan Herrera, Vice Chair
505-986-4249
505-579-0092
Anthony Allison
505-986-4436
505-787-8994
Cathrynn Brown
505-986-4227
575-706-4420
Candy Spence Ezzell
505-986-4454
575-625-0550
Dayan Hochman-Vigil
505-986-4432
505-948-2320
Marian Matthews
505-986-4432
Nathan Small
505-986-4319
575-496-9540
Martin Zamora
505-986-4211
575-309-2334
Talking Points:
  • HB 30 protects existing senior water rights from impairment. Constitutional and statutory protections of priority water rights are at stake.
  • HB 30 protects due process in water lease applications before the State Engineer.
  • Current law requires the following: 1) The State Engineer has to consider impacts on existing rights of any new uses of water and 2) those who may be affected by the new use of water can file objections and 3) a public hearing MUST BE HELD where their concerns MUST BE ADDRESSED.
  • HB 30 is needed because the State Engineer in recent years has used an unlawful administrative procedure he calls “preliminary approval,” in which he preliminary approves pending protested water use lease applications before a mandatory public hearing has been held. This violates protection of existing water rights and due process.
  • The water leasing statute does not contain a provision for “preliminary approval” of water lease applications. By allowing applications to proceed before a hearing, senior water right uses, such as irrigation districts, Pueblos, rural community water systems, villages, and acequias, could be impaired while a protest is pending.
  • A judge in the Fifth Judicial District recently ordered the State Engineer cancel permits granted through preliminary approval to Intrepid potash and ruled that the State Engineer did not have the statutory authority to grant preliminary approval for water lease applications.
  • If there is a need for expedited procedures for water leases in New Mexico, proposed policy changes should be developed through the legislative process in a manner that considers constitutional and statutory protections for existing water rights.

We urge you to support HB 30 to protect existing, senior water rights and due process in water lease application procedures.

To join the meeting, you will need access to Zoom on your computer or phone. Instructions to download Zoom are provided below. On the day of the committee meeting, sign on early by 8:15am with this link. When HB 30 starts, you can “raise your hand” on Zoom. If you are on your phone, you can raise your hand by pressing *9. 

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82072641109

US: +1 669 900 9128
Webinar ID: 820 7264 1109
Contact NMAA at 505-995-9644 or Emily Arasin, emily@lasacequias.org, with questions about Zoom. Contact Jaimie Park, jaimie@lasacequias.org, with questions about HB 30.
You can also view weekly legislative updates on our website:

Una Tardeada Acequiera – New Year’s Eve

Una Tardeada Acequiera

New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2020

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

 

A “tardeada” is an afternoon/evening gathering, a beautiful way to spend the “tarde” or the latter part of the day. Join us to connect with friends from the acequias who work together all year long to be caretakers of our precious waters and to imagine what the coming year might hold for us. We will connect in between

Music and Versos by our beloved Vicente Griego and David Garcia.

If anyone else wishes to share art, words, or music, email paula@lasacequias.org.

 

Register here https://forms.gle/6fUHeayMoFUBErvMA  to get the Zoom link and phone number.

Photo credit: Donatella Davanzo

 

NMAA is Hiring

NMAA is seeking qualified applicants for the following two positions. Both are full-time and will work primarily from home in order to be COVID-safe. 
 
Acequia Policy Coordinator
The New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA) is seeking a Policy Coordinator to assist with advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal level. The NMAA is a statewide, membership-based association of acequias and community ditches in New Mexico. The Policy Coordinator helps develop and implement NMAA’s policy advocacy strategies. This position reports directly to the Executive Director (ED) and supports a broad range of activities including analysis, development of policy recommendations, and policy advocacy. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, a minimum of two years professional experience in public policy/advocacy fields, willingness to take on complex tasks, and the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of stakeholders. Policy Coordinator Job Description
Acequia Outreach Coordinator
The New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA) is seeking an Acequia Outreach Coordinator to conduct education and outreach to acequia parciantes, acequia elected officials, farmers, and ranchers and provide support on issues relating to water rights, agricultural improvements, infrastructure, and acequia governance. This position reports to the Program Director and works with the NMAA team to plan and coordinate outreach strategies and to implement specific tasks including one-on-one meetings, trainings and workshops, and development of educational materials. This position will work on acequia governance, water management, infrastructure, and participation in USDA programs. The ideal candidate will have strong communication skills, experience working one-on-one with constituents, and the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of stakeholders. Acequia Outreach Coordinator Job Description
 
Persons interested in applying should submit a letter of interest, three references, and a resume to Paula Garcia, Executive Director, at paula@lasacequias.org. 

Respeto y Repartimiento

Respeto y Repartimiento: Plática on Water Sharing Traditions

REGISTER HERE! 

Join us for an online platica about the acequia tradition of sharing water, known as repartimiento. This will be first in a series of online pláticas, or dialogues, focused on water sharing customs and practices among acequias. Our first plática on repartimiento will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm via Zoom, Facebook Live, and conference call.

For centuries in New Mexico, the customs and traditions of water sharing have been vital to the well-being of communities, providing water through the principle of equity and keeping peaceful relations with neighboring families and communities.

During the pandemic, acequias are facing a growing interest in locally grown food resulting in more demand for water by growers who need reliable water for crops and livestock. Adding to the stress on acequias is climate change that is causing more intense and longer droughts, with less snowpack, runoff, and irrigation water.

It has never been more important for the acequia community to dig deep into our cultural memory to remember the generations of teachings about the importance of sharing water and to be mindful of the scarcity of water that we rely upon for our survival.

Our gathering will feature poetry and storytelling to ground us a cultural worldview grounded in respect, caring for one’s neighbors, and working together for the common good. Our featured artist will be Levi Romero, New Mexico Poet Laureate, whose upbringing in Dixon immersed him in land-based culture that resonates in his poetry. Levi will share poetry and reflections on a recent essay entitled, “Respeto, Caridad, y Repartimiento.” Also, musician David Garcia will perform music rooted in acequia lifeways.

Gilbert Sandoval, President of the Jemez River Basin Coalition of Acequias, will share his experience in negotiating water sharing agreements with neighboring Pueblos. Gilbert’s story will highlight the knowledge and experience needed in the difficult and complicated work of creating water-sharing agreements, which can take decades to resolve but also remain a work in progress as our climate changes and as communities change over time. Other acequia elders will be invited to share their own experiences with past or current water sharing practices.

The plática will take place on Zoom, Facebook Live, and by conference call. Click here to sign up for the platica.

When you register, NMAA will send you the instructions to use Zoom, Facebook Live, or conference call to participate.

San Isidro Labrador – Join us for an online blessing

For centuries, people of faith have gathered on Día de San Isidro to pray for the blessing of a good growing season. San Isidro is the patron saint of farmers and labradores (workers or laborers). The story goes that he worked the land and yet always found time to pray and attend daily mass. His faith was rewarded with the help working his fields. His story reminds us that planting seeds in the Spring is an act of faith and hope and also that it is a commitment to care for the seeds and matitas (little plants) to have a cosecha (harvest) later in the season.
In New Mexico, several communities celebrate Día de San Isidro with processions to bless the fields and acequias. Celebrations include “paseando los santos” in a procession in the community, through fields, and along acequias where often rose petals are cast into the water as part of the blessing. According to tradition, his feast day on May 15th is an important day to plant traditional crops such as corn, beans, chile, and squash because it is after regular episodes of freezing temperatures.
This year, because of the pandemic, many of us will miss San Isidro gatherings where our faith is affirmed and our relationships with the community are strengthened through a shared blessing. Our blessings are a much needed time for an expression of querencia, the love and belonging to a place and a people.
The NMAA is inviting our statewide community to take a little time on Día de San Isidro to participate in an online gathering to honor San Isidro. We will have music, an informal blessing, and some platica (dialogue/conversation) where we can bear witness to each other’s work of planting seeds, tending to plants, and irrigating. Prayers are especially needed during this time when our local farmers are being called upon to provide our communities with fresh food as the corporate/industrial food system is showing its flaws. This growing season will also be particularly challenging because of ongoing drought and the need to be gracious and kind in the way we share scarce water.
Día de San Isidro
An Online Community Gathering
Friday, May 15, 2020
9:00am – 10:00am
Join via Zoom or telephone (instructions below)

Schedule:

Welcome

Alabanza de San Isidro:

A traditional spiritual ballad and homage to our patron saint

Blessing and Reflections from Traditional Farmers and Mayordomos

Participant Reflections

Closing with Music

HOW TO USE ZOOM:

Option A – Connect from your computer or smart phone internet:
  1. As the program opens, a box will pop up on your screen asking if it is okay to launch Zoom – click ‘yes’ – and then click ‘join audio conference by computer’.
  2. Once you are on the call – you can choose to turn your video on or off using buttons in the lower left side of the screen. You can also mute and unmute yourself by clicking the small microphone icon.
Option B – Call in from your phone:
  • Dial: 1-301-715-8592
  • Enter the ‘Meeting ID’: 944 6556 8558
  1. We will ask everyone to mute themselves so we can hear the speaker clearly and limit background noise. To mute yourself on a landline – press *6 – then press it again to unmute yourself.
If you have any technical problems or questions about how to use Zoom – email – emily@lasacequias.org

Acequias and Climate Change: Learning Together and Adapting for the Future

Acequias and Climate Change

Learning Together and Adapting for the Future

Thursday, June 27, 2019

9:00am – 3:30pm

Juan I. Gonzales Agricultural Center

202 Chamisa Road, Taos, NM

Join acequias for a day of learning and dialogue about a future shaped by climate change. The day will include an overview of the impacts of climate change on New Mexico’s watersheds and rivers from Dr. David Gutzler, UNM professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, followed by interactive discussions about repartimiento traditions (old and new), water harvesting, infrastructure improvements, building healthy soils, and other adaptations.

REGISTER: https://form.jotform.com/91636531656159

DONATIONS ACCEPTED AT THE DOOR

Sponsored by the New Mexico Acequia Association, Embudo Valley Regional Acequia Association, Taos Valley Acequia Association, Rio Chama Acequia Association, and La Asociación de las Acequias del Valle de Mora.