ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Local leaders want people to know the significance of acequias in New Mexico culture and will soon make it easier to learn about it. The Rio Grande Conservancy, city, county, and Regional Association of Acequias will create an outdoor education site near the Atrisco Acequia near Central and Rio Grande.

You will soon see new crossings across the river and educational and recreational activities as well as trails, interpretive sites, and historical markers.

Courtesy Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District

According to a news release from Bernalillo County, the formation of the water supply system began with the construction of acequias or ditches that served the early villages from Cochiti Pueblo south to San Antonio and later developed into communities that kept farming alive in the valley through previous droughts and floods. The release of this first water has been going on for centuries, and New Mexico communities have continued to celebrate the state’s acequias.

Bernalillo County says the Rio Grande Conservancy will begin diverting water from the Rio Grande to start the 2021 irrigation season in the Middle Rio Grande Valley.  According to a news release, due to drought conditions, the irrigation season is starting later than usual, but for generations, farming has sustained the needs of the Pueblos, early Europeans, and the many settlers that came to the Rio Grande following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

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