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
(jpg format)indicating the major rivers in Taos Valley, and the general
position of the acequias. This map has been provided by Sylvia
(pdf format) detailing the location of individual acequias.