TAOS VALLEY ACEQUIA ASSOCIATION

     The 55 Community Acequias in the Taos Valley organized the Taos Valley Acequia Association in 1987. The Primary objective of the association is to protect the water rights of the Taos Valley irrigators with water rights off the Rio Grande del Rancho, Rio Chiquito, Rio Fernando, Rio Pueblo, Rio Lucero, Arroyo Seco and Rio Hondo stream systems. The financial focus has been the Abeyta and Arellano Water Adjudications.

     Three acequia commissioners or mayordomos from each of the stream systems direct the TVAA with its officers elected by the TVAA Board Directors. The TVAA office is located at the Juan I Gonzales Taos County Agricultural Center and can be reached at (505) 758-9461, any of the TVAA officers are accessible to assist as well. The Taos Valley Acequia System has approximately 12,000 acres under irrigation with over 7000 water right holders.

     The legal and technical experts in cooperation have actively involved the TVAA on the complex water Adjudication supported with the Acequia Commissioners, mayordomos and individual water rights owners. The US District Court, Office of the State Engineer and the affected Water Rights owning parties represented by TVAA and others on particular issues have directed the adjudication. The legal and technical matters to date have included: individual sub file offers of judgment, errors and omissions, acequia priority dates, customs and traditions, spring fed acequias, points of diversions, water right transfers, Federal water rights claims including US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, Hydrographic survey corrections or updates and others.

     The role of TVAA has been to assist local water rights holders on all these important aspects of the adjudication process. The US District Court has prioritized the Taos Adjudication and has made substantial progress. Some issues still need to be addressed including: Acequia domestic and livestock uses, duty of water (Farm Delivery Requirements, Crop Irrigation Requirements and Project Delivery Requirements) and at some point address Inter-Se Claims. Domestic water uses have either been partially addressed or will be adjudicated in time. TVAA has been actively involved in the adjudication process and overtime has had to cooperate or collaborate with many parties and/or entities including the US District Court, Office of the State Engineer, New Mexico Legislature, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Department of Finance and Administration, Bureau of Reclamation, Interstate Stream Commission, New Mexico Acequia Commission, New Mexico Acequia Association and all relevant local water right owning entities. The TVAA Board of Directors has had a dedicated Volunteer Board, legal and technical contractors and staff.

     The TVAA has also been involved in other complex Water Issues including being a major party on the Water Rights Settlement with Taos Pueblo, which took 16 years to reach a local settlement and awaits Federal Legislation and implementation. This endeavor has also included the Courts, OSE and all major local water rights owning parties. TVAA has also been involved in the development of the Taos County Regional Plan.



We have obtained two maps illustrating the position of acequias in Taos Valley:
  1. A full-color map (jpg format)indicating the major rivers in Taos Valley, and the general position of the acequias.  This map has been provided by Sylvia Rodriguez.
  2. A line-drawing map (pdf format) detailing the location of individual acequias.