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Small to medium-sized irrigation systems in México are characterized in the literature as El Pequeño Riego. Some systems can be compared to those in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, while others are significantly larger and more complex. Regardless of irrigated acres or hectáreas, however, there are many elements that are commonly shared across these regions. Firstly, the irrigation works are based on the use of acequias dug from the earth that need to be maintained and cleaned season to season. The terms canals and acequias are interchangeable. Secondly, the irrigators themselves, whether called parciantes or regantes, take on positions of authority and leadership responsibilities in comparable roles such as mayordomo, juez de agua, presidente, comisionados, secretarios, tesoreros and others. Thirdly, the irrigation communities are autonomous and operate outside of bureaucratic management or control by governmental agencies. In all respects, they are self-organized and self-managed irrigation collectives. Here we review case studies of el pequeño riego de México: two small-scale systems in Baja California Sur and larger and more complex systems in the two valleys of central México.