Water wise: Book explores culture of irrigation-dependent communities

enduringacequuiascoverjuanestevanarellano

From the Sante Fe New Mexican book review of Enduring Acequias: Wisdom of the land, knowledge of the water:

“Few people have learned to use water as wisely as those who rely on the acequias,” writes Juan Estevan Arellano in his new book, Enduring Acequias: Wisdom of the Land, Knowledge of the Water. Released by the University of New Mexico Press, the book examines acequias — those gravity-driven, open-air irrigation systems of reservoirs, channels, and locks — that are found all over the dry regions of the world. Acequias include the ancient water-sharing systems of the Romans, Incans, and Toltecs and the newer sustainable-agriculture communities in Spain and Mexico. Fittingly, the narrative begins with a personal account of Arellano’s upbringing in Northern New Mexico, where he was steeped in acequia culture.

“I’ve been in acequias since I was a little kid, even before I was allowed to be in the river,” Arellano told Pasatiempo.

More Rio Grande River Basin coverage here.

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