After more than four centuries, the acequias of New Mexico continue to serve agricultural purposes in spite of economic, demographic, political, technological, and environmental changes. Their origins can be traced to early settlements at the confluence of the Río Grande and the Río Chama, the birthplace of Iberian acequia irrigation in New Mexico. This article demonstrates the value of water in high desert environments where mountain snowpacks feed rivers and streams that are diverted to irrigate fields in places such as San Gabriel (now Chamita) and El Guique. These and other acequia communities in the region should be protected for their historical and cultural significance to the region and the State. Data for the San Gabriel/Chamita case was derived from published works in the literature while information for El Guique was provided by a ditch commissioner on site along with field notes taken during two visits. The article concludes with a photo gallery of images by the author.
Rivera, José A. Ph.D. "Water-Based Settlements at the Confluence: San Gabriel & El Guique New Mexico." (2023). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/arch_fsp/8