They would call first irrigation ditch in the village the Acequia Madre – the Mother Ditch.
As if the Hispanic settlers wanted to acknowledge it as a source of life, of sustenance, and of community.
The rains and snow that fall on the Rocky Mountains are the source.
They flow as streams, pulverizing stone and leaves and wood… taking vitamins and minerals with them as they carve canyons through solid rock.
Where the mountain joins the plain, almost a thousand years ago, the Puebloans built their communities.
They were moving from a nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle to a settled agricultural one, and they selected this place to build their village, partially because of the access to water afforded by such a stream.
They learned that you could dam up a stream and save some water for later… and in doing so, they created some of the earliest forms of irrigated agriculture here.
Further downstream – Hispanic villages - some nearly 400 years old...
They too chose this place because of water, and they built upon the older tradition – they designed acequias using surveying, agriculture, and engineering…
that they learned from the Moors and the Romans before that…
and that THEY learned them from Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia.
So, the acequias we see are a tradition in the making for 7,000 years... and that were brought across 4 continents to get here.
Read the rest of Acequias: The Future of Water in the Land of Enchantment at Archinia. Follow on @Archinia on Twitter and Facebook. More about Acecquia Madre at TEDx and