New Mexico Acequia Association
To protect acequias and water, to grow food for our families and communities, and to celebrate our cultural heritage. The NMAA is governed as a statewide federation of regional delegations of acequias, primarily organized into watershed-based associations around the common goal of protecting water rights.
In our work to defend acequia water rights to ensure that our communities have a clean and secure water supply for growing food and other community needs for generations to come, we have established these programs: Acequia Governance Program strengthens local water governance to retain local, democratic control over water rights through community education and policy advocacy at the local and state level. The program encourages generational water sharing customs in times of drought, repartimiento, while building the capacity of acequias to resist the commodification of water.Sembrando Semillas Program was established to cultivate a new generation of acequia leaders through the engagement of families and youth in culturally significant, experiential land-based agricultural activities and multimedia storytelling. The project is currently active in the rural New Mexico communities of Chamisal and Mora, with each sight engaging five to ten families in workshops and community gardens. The Escuelita de las Acequias cultivates emerging acequia leaders and youth through a series of retreats, "encuentros", and topic specific workshops. Our model is based on popular education that affirms traditional knowledge and supports adaptation for the future. In addition to sharing knowledge about acequias, water governance, food and agricultural traditions, participants also gain skills in organizing for social change, facilitation, storytelling and communication, as well as project development and implementation. New Mexico Food and Seed Sovereignty Alliance brings together Native pueblo growers with Acequia growers from the upper Rio Grande basin, to honor centuries-old practices of sharing resources and protecting heirloom, landrace, and other non GMO seeds. NMAA is a founding member in the Alliance, and coordinates an annual seed ceremony and exchange entitled Owingeh Ta -- Pueblos y Semillas which educates the public on the importance of traditional agricultural and local food systems