Water Is Life

water acequia

Water Is Life (“El Agua es Vida”): Acequias in New Mexico

Water is life everywhere in the world. The peoples of New Mexico readily express this truth. “El agua es vida” signs and banners appear in many places, such as floats at the annual Marigold Parade.

New Mexico is in the Desert Southwest. The Rio Grande River blesses the state. Albuquerque, the largest city in the state, grew up around the river. But many different peoples populated small settlements close to the river for hundreds of years.

Communal irrigation canals, acequias, remain important even in the 21st Century.

Recently, on a rather chilly and definitely dismal day, I got to have a wonderful visit with Tim and Laurie In Corrales. Because they live right along the Rio Grande, I have walked the ditch bank with them many times. We have photographed the acequia from which they get water to irrigate their land. I have photographed this many times, and never got images that I really liked. Those other times, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, the leaves were green, and water with reflections was in the acequia. You might think that could make a nice picture. For me, the overcast and dismal sky, dry acequia, and brown leaves made images I liked better.

water acequia
A Bridge Across the Upper Corrales Riverside Drain, a “clearwater ditch.” Sandia Mountains in the Background.
water acequia
Acequia at Corrales
water acequia
Mechanism for Controlling Flow in the Corrales Acequia

Walking along the ditch bank, you often meet other people. A gentleman passed by with this beautiful German Shepherd!

water acequia
Beautiful German Shepherd Walking Her Owner along the Ditch Bank

After a wonderful afternoon out photographing many interesting things in the bosque, we came back to a warm home and fabulous dinner prepared by Laurie and Tim! Great friends, photography, and food – what more could anyone ask?

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