Information about Acequias
Acequias are unique and longstanding cultural and legal institutions in Colorado. Acequias are community-operated ditches brought to Spain by the Moors, and brought to the Americas by the Spanish. The Spanish and Mexican farmers and ranchers who settled here long before Colorado became a state created these systems for irrigation and water sharing that ensure sustainable use of water. This form of land settlement and irrigation was based on principles of equity, shared scarcity and cooperation in which water was viewed as a resource in place, rather than a commodity. Acequias continue to be the lifeblood of residents in Costilla and Conejos Counties – they not only serve to provide the water for the farms on which hundreds of families depend, but they also serve as a conduit for community services and support.
The Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association is dedicated to preserving acequias and their water rights in Colorado. For more information on acequias, visit our Water Information Archive.