Acequia Culture: Water, Land, and Community in the Southwest

By José A. Rivera | Go to book overview
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Acequia Glossary
NOTE: The glossary terms span three or more periods of usage in the upper Río Grande region of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Not all acequia terms or shades of meaning were included; priority was given to terms and definitions that assist the reader with the understanding of the terms as they appear in this book by historical period and in context. Thus, the glossary definitions were derived from the many sources, primary and secondary, that were consulted, including the acequia organizationl papers and documents. When useful, the terms are qualified to identify the historical period in question or simply to distinguish them from the definitions now in use during the contemporary period. For the most part, the terms are defined broadly for the general reading audience and are not meant to be taken as conclusive, legal descriptions applicable to all cases or situations. Also, some meanings can vary not only across historical periods but also by locality according to community practices and the customs of each acequia.
ACEQUIA A ditch or community irrigation canal. Can also refer to the ditch association in a community. Locally, the term is often pronounced as "cequia," as was the spelling in medieval Valencia, Spain, where the irrigation manager was called the "cequier" and the mother canal the "cequia mare."
ACEQUIA MADRE Literally means "Mother Ditch." The acequia madre is the main irrigation canal cut at one end of a community to carry water downstream along the foothills or slope enclosing the fields until it empties back into the river source at the lower end of the community.
ACEQUIA MANCOMÚ N A common property ditch or "acequia de común" made up of all land owners irrigating from a single canal.

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