Strengthening Communities in Times of Water Scarcity
The Congreso de las Acequias, the governing body of the New Mexico Acequia Association, was created to strengthen the collective voice of acequias in New Mexico and for the acequias to have a vehicle from which to work toward a common vision. The Congreso is a federation of regions defined mainly by watersheds and a common stream system. Most of these regions have established associations of acequias that work for their interests at the local level, such as adjudication defense or water-sharing agreements. Other regional acequia associations have expanded their role to also include youth mentoring, leadership development and rebuilding local and regional food systems. Some regions have not yet established watershed-based regional associations but may do so in the future.
Once a year, the Congreso de las Acequias meets to approve resolutions that define the policy platform and agenda of the NMAA and to elect leaders to govern the organization. The Congreso is the only statewide gathering of acequias and it is often attended by various dignitaries and elected officials to show support for New Mexico’s acequias. The annual Congreso usually takes place in November. It keeps NMAA members and supporters informed about current issues affecting acequias, celebrates acequia culture with music, and provides an opportunity for people to greet old and new friends.