"When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Til taught by pain, men really know not what good water is worth."
-- From "Don Juan" by Byron

"Thousands have lived without love, not one without water."
-- W.H. Auden

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sandia Water Modeling Project Meeting

April 2, 2008, there is a meeting at the ENMU building in room 105 at 4:00 pm. This meeting will be an update by Sandia Lab on the ongoing Upper Hondo Watershed Modeling Project. Vince Tidwell and/or Tom Lowry from Sandia and a representative from USGS will give a presentation on the status of the Upper Hondo Basin modeling project development.

Waterportal.sandia.gov/upperhondo is the website to log onto for more information.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Welcome to the Upper Hondo Watershed

Welcome to our new blog for the Upper Hondo Watershed. We hope to educate and inform you about our watershed's history, culture, and intrinsic and economic values. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy and understand the beauty and history that the acequia culture has sustained for approximately 200 years in this basin. The acequia culture has been the only viable way to manage a small, but critical source of water. This stream has fed over 30 miles of farms and ranches, and has sustained us even in times of drought. We hope to lead you through the hardships and victories this basin has endured to maintain our way of life - a lifestyle envied by many people. Please feel free to send us your thoughts, observations, photos, information and/or stories. This is one way of maintaining this fragile ecosystem, and ensure that it continues for future generations.

I recently attended the DARCA conference in San Luis, Colorado. There was a one day workshop located in Ft. Garland, Colorado on flow measurement, both gravity flow and pressurized along with the conference in San Luis, Colorado. San Luis boasts of being the oldest town in Colorado and I'm sure that has a lot to do with the acequia culture that is located there and throughout the beautiful San Luis Valley. The water rights located there are the oldest in Colorado and were the first adjudicated. It is important to note that the only acequias in the United States are located in Southern Colorado and New Mexico. They are truly our continuing link to an indigenous people, learning how to deal with drought hardships and still maintain growing communities. Only by learning to manage and share water will everyone be able to experience life in the West.

It was a very good conference with informational boards from living with development, to archiving the history of Colorado's water. Devon Pena, who is an environmental anthropologist gave a great presentation on the ancient acequia systems and how they are linked closer to Arabic than Spanish. The acequia culture is that old, going back even as far as the Moors.

Tomorrow, Feb. 27, in Glencoe, NM I look forward to attending a forum presented by the US Department of Agriculture on the Value Added Produce Grant Program. In the Bonito and Hondo Valleys there are many people revitalizing the beautiful small farms with a new and improved way of farming. This includes a program called Agri-Tourism. For instance, the Lavender Farm located in Arabela, NM had approximately 6000 visitors in a little over a year to purchase and/or just wander through the beautifully groomed farm. The Berry Farm located in San Patricio is another very popular spot for people shopping for fresh produce in our valleys.