The purpose of Acequia
de La Puebla is to:
1) promote the agricultural uses of water on the lands served by the Acequia,
2) promote the efficient and beneficial use of water,
3) sustain customs and traditions of providing water to parciantes in a manner that is fair and equitable,
4) protect and defend the rights and interests of the Acequia and the parciantes,
5) maintain the infrastructure and easements of the Acequia de La Puebla, and
6) maintain an adequate diversion right to ensure a sufficient water supply for parciantes.
The management and operation of Acequia de La
Puebla, a political subdivision of the State of New Mexico, shall be in
compliance with the laws of the State of New Mexico and the customs of
the Acequia de La Puebla.
Acequias are local governmental entities or “political” subdivisions, fl under New Mexico law. (Section 73-2-28)
Name of Ditch: ACEQUIA DE LA PUEBLA
State Engineer File No.: 1659
Priority: Reserved for later determination by the Court.
Point of Diversion: Through and by means of the Acequia de La
Puebla located in the Santa Cruz Grant. The position of this
diversion on the New Mexico Coordinate System, Central Zone, is:
X=583,855 and Y=1,819,880, Santa Fe County, New Mexico.
Duty of Water: Not to exceed 2.8 acre-feet on a total of 364.16 acres irrigated.
Amount of Water: Not to exceed a total of 1,019.65 acre-feet in anyone year, plus such reasonable conveyance loss from the point of diversion from the Rio de Santa Cruz to the individual farm headgates as may be determined hereafter by the Court.
The parciantes of
Acequia de La Puebla are those persons who own irrigated farmland with
water rights from the Acequia.
The officers of Acequia de La Puebla shall
consist of three Commissioners and one Mayordomo, each of whom shall be
a member of the Acequia, as defined in Article 1. The Commissioners
shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Mayordomo
and the Treasurer will furnish bonds for the faithful discharge of their
duties in the sum to be decided and approved by the Acequia de La Puebla
Commissioners. These bonds shall be made a part of the records of the
The officer titles appear in Sections 73-2-12 and 73-3-1.
a.Chairman: Responsibilities of the
Chairman will be to direct activities of the Acequia de La Puebla
jointly with the other Commissioners and call and preside at all Acequia
meetings. In the event the Chairman is unable to preside at a meeting,
he will appoint one of the other Commissioners to preside over the
b. Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for keeping complete and accurate records, minutes of meetings, reading the minutes of the previous meeting and assisting the other Commissioners in running the business affairs of the Acequia de La Puebla.
c. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for management of the finances of the Acequia de La Puebla including the following:
1. Send notices to parciantes for billing of and collection of assessments and fines.
2. Maintain accurate records for each parciante including assessments due, hours worked and fines due in coordination with the Mayordomo.
3. Make payments for labor and materials as necessary.
4. In coordination with the Mayordomo, prepare an annual financial report to be presented to the membership.
5. Keep and protect all monies that will come into his/her possession from collections for work, delinquencies and fines or any other assessments. These monies shall be used for the benefit of the Acequia de La Puebla. They will not be spent without the consent of the Chairman and approval of the Secretary and Treasurer.
d. Mayordomo: The Mayordomo shall work under the direct supervision of the Commissioners. The Mayordomo shall be an executive official of the ditch and will assign the water among the parciantes. His or her responsibilities shall be as follows:
1. Coordinate and supervise all work on the Acequia de La Puebla including the annual Spring cleaning, day-to-day maintenance, and emergency repairs. This includes the cleaning of the ditch, side banks, diversion dam, valves and sluice ways to insure a smooth and efficient operation without loss of time and water.
2. Distribute water to parciantes in a manner that is equitable and is consistent with the customs of the Acequia de La Puebla. To assign, and keep record, of the water assigned to the parciantes.
3. Collect delinquencies from parciantes as reported to him by the Treasurer.
4. Supervise the Acequia de La Puebla to ensure that delinquent parciantes do not take water illegally. The Mayordomo has full authority to shut the individual headgate along the banks of the Acequia de La Puebla of those parciantes who are delinquent and to secure the headgates by any available means.
5. To patrol the acequia and keep it clear of obstructions and weeds. See Sections 73-2-31 and 73-3-4 for duties of officers under state law.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of Mayordomo, the Commissioners shall appoint a Mayordomo to hold office for the remainder of the term or until his successor is elected at a meeting of the membership.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of
Commissioner, the remaining Acequia de La Puebla Commissioners shall
appoint a Commissioner to hold office for the remainder of the term or
until his successor is elected at a meeting of the membership. If there are two vacancies for Commissioner, the remaining Commissioner shall convene a special meeting of the membership to fill the vacancies for the remainder of the term of office.
Special meetings of the Commission may be Chairman. Two
Commissioners shall constitute a
quorum for such meetings. Notice shall be posted in a public place (3) days prior to a meeting.
Compensation of the Mayordomo
shall be determined by a majority of the membership.
Section 73-2-18 and 73-3-2 provide that compensation is determined by a majority of the membership.
The Annual Membership Meeting shall be held on the
first Monday of December or as soon as practicable thereafter.
State law provides for the date of electing officers. (Sections73-2-12, 73-2-15, and 73-3- 1.) The statute provides that these meetings take place on odd numbered years but many acequias meet annually.
Notice shall be
provided to each parciante by mail to the addresses as recorded in the
records of the Acequia de La Puebla and posted in a public place ten
days in advance of the meeting.
Notice of the meeting shall include the date, time, location, and the agenda or information about where to obtain a copy of the agenda.
In addition to the notice provision in the acequia's bylaws, the open Meetings Act requires an acequia to determine annually what constitutes "reasonable notice" for its meetings. (Section 1015-1.) See attached "Open Meetings Act Resolution” for more on meeting notice requirements.
At each Annual Meeting, the Secretary shall
present the minutes from the previous Annual Meeting. The Mayordomo
shall report on the management and operations of the Acequia de La
Puebla and the Treasurer shall provide a financial report.
Section 4: Location of Annual Membership Meeting
The annual meeting shall be held at a public place in Rio Arriba or Santa Fe County.
A quorum for conducting any business shall be 5%
of the membership except as otherwise provided in this section. A
quorum, once established for that particular meeting, shall remain in
effect to transact all business set on the agenda even though parciantes
shall voluntarily leave the meeting.
In the event that a quorum is not established at a meeting duly called, those assembled shall recess for a period of not less than two (2) days but not more than seven (7) days, wherein the meeting shall resume at the time and place specified at the call of the recess and all business listed on the original agenda shall be transacted by those present at the meeting, who shall then constitute a quorum for conducting business provided there are eight (8) or more parciantes present.
Special meetings of the Acequia de La Puebla may be called by the
Commissioners or upon written petition to the Commission Chairman signed
by 5% of the parciantes. Notice for special meetings shall be the same
as for annual meetings.
The Commissioners and Mayordomo shall
be elected at the Annual Meeting on odd numbered years by a vote of the
membership. The elections shall be conducted by the outgoing
Sections 73-2-12 and 73-3-1 provide the requirements for elections to be held on odd numbered years.
Only those parciantes who are not delinquent in
the payment of their assessments nor who have defaulted on their work
assignments will be in good standing and shall be allowed to vote.
Voting may be done by written proxy.
Each parciante shall have one (l) vote regardless of acreage.
Sections 73-2-14 and 73-3-3 allow votes to be cast by written proxy, although voting in acequia elections is often done by the parciantes present.
In 1998, the N.M. Supreme Court held in Wilson v. Denver that the various methods of acequia. voting are all equally valid. You should choose the option that best describes your customary method of voting.
Nomination of officers may be made by any parciante. The three Commissioners shall be elected at-large. At the end of the Annual Meeting in which the election is taking place, the three Commissioners shall elect, from among themselves, a Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer with each Commissioner holding one position.
The elected officers shall assume their
office not later than the first Monday following the month they are
elected. The term of office for the Mayordomo and Commissioners is two
As practiced traditionally,
during times of emergency and/or drought, the Commission will represent
the Acequia de La Puebla for the purpose of cooperating with the other
acequias in the Santa Cruz Irrigation District which draw water from the
Santa Cruz River in order to determine the most effective and equitable
manner of allocating water in all of the acequias.
Such customary practice by acequias is also recognized in State Law. (See Sections 73-2-4 7 and 72-9-2.)
community acequia cleaning involving all parciantes will take place
during the Spring before the irrigation season on a date determined by
the Mayordomo and Commissioners.
(Penalties for failing to contribute peones for the annual cleaning are discussed below.)
The available water
in the acequia shall be distributed in approximate proportion to the
lands with water rights owned by each parciante of the Acequia. The
Mayordomo shall be in charge
of the distribution of the water to the parciantes based on the general schedule established by the Acequia de La Puebla Commissioners. The schedule may be adjusted depending on the
availability of water by the mayordomo in consultation with the Commissioners.
Commissioners, immediately upon assuming office or as soon as
practicable thereafter, shall determine the amount of money necessary
for the ensuing year for the operation, maintenance,
repair and improvement of the Acequia de La Puebla and for payment of the expenses of the Acequia, including compensation of the officers, if any. The Commissioners shall then assess each parciante, in proportion to their acreage, the amount of labor and dues needed.
All parciantes shall maintain their individual headgates in
good condition and keep their acequia sections free of trash and other
obstructions. Repairs and construction of headgates and
other works should be completed before the start of the irrigation season.
All parciantes shall pay all assessments, including any emergency
assessments, as required by the Commission, regardless of whether
parciantes irrigate or do not irrigate.
All monies assessed by the Acequia de La Puebla are due upon receipt of
the Treasurer’s statement. These assessments become delinquent 45 days
following the date of the invoice. All delinquent accounts will pay a
penalty of 10% per year. The Acequia de La Puebla Commission (3) and the
Mayordomo shall, by the rules and regulations of the Acequia de La
Puebla, be exempt from the acequia cleaning fees.
NMSA Section 73-2-26 gives the Mayordomo authority to file a court action to collect delinquent assessments.
parciantes shall contribute peones for the annual Spring cleaning or for
emergency repairs as required by the Mayordomo. A day's work shall
consist of eight hours per day. Levies for labor shall be in accordance
with the predominating wage existing at the time for ditch work.
If a parciante fails to provide labor or workers as required by the mayordomo, the mayordomo, after notifying the parciante, can collect a civil penalty in magistrate court. (Sections 73-2-25, 73-2-31, 73-3-5.)
All parciantes shall abide by Acequia de La Puebla Bylaws, Rules and Regulations and shall comply with decisions adopted by the Commission for the common good.
All records of proceedings by
Commissioners and financial records of the Acequia de La Puebla shall
always remain public property and shall be subject to inspection by any
State law defines Commission records as open to public inspection. (See Sections 73-2-21 and 73-3-4.)
Each parciante shall be provided with a copy of the current bylaws of the Acequia de La Puebla and amendments thereafter adopted. Optional: New parciantes will be briefed on the operation of the Acequia by one of the Commissioners or the Mayordomo.
Each parciante shall keep current on the records of the Commission of the Acequia de La Puebla the name(s) of the owner(s) of the property, the owner's mailing address and the telephone number, and the exact amount of irrigated acreage or water rights claimed by the parciante. It is the responsibility of each parciante to keep accurate records with the Office of the State Engineer and to provide a copy of the Office of the State Engineer documents to the acequia Commission upon request.
It shall be the responsibility of a landowner who has
purchased or leased land with Acequia de La Puebla water rights to
report such transaction promptly to the Secretary for recording in the
Acequia's records. Delinquencies, if any, are due from the past owner or lessee on said land, and must be paid before the new owner or lessor may be entitled to the use of the Acequia.
Water transfers, by
changing the point of diversion, purpose of use, or place of use of
water rights must comply with Article 9 of these Bylaws. If a water
transfer has been approved by both the Acequia de La Puebla Commission
and the State Engineer, it shall be the responsibility of the parciante
to provide updated information about the water right to the Secretary
for recording in the records of the Acequia.
Each parciante and non-parciante recognize that the Acequia de La
Puebla, including all of its laterals and sluices/desagues and the
sluice/desague drainage channels possess a historical permanent easement
for the purpose of inspection, maintenance, operations and improvements.
No parciante or non-parciante may build within the easement or otherwise
obstruct or limit access to this easement. The scope of the easement is
defined as follows: The easement is as wide as necessary for
maintenance, use and improvements.
Acequia easements are described in NMSA 73-2-5. State law does not define a set number of feet but states that the easement is as wide as necessary for maintenance, use and improvements. Easement rights and right of access to the easement are in NMSA Sections 72-8-3 and 73-2-5.
Each Acequia de La Puebla parciante and non-parciante shall ensure that it must be possible to freely and safely walk the full length of the acequia easement within his or her property. For instance, if a fence or other barrier crosses the acequia or the easement, the parciante or non-parciante shall provide an accessible gate, crossover, or the barrier shall be removed.
Acequia de La Puebla has the right to use the historic and customary routes or points of access to the acequia within parciantes’ and non-parciantes’ property and other such routes or points of access as may be necessary to afford safe and convenient access to the acequia for inspection, maintenance, operations and improvements.
Any material changes to the Acequia de La Puebla, including
any crossings, shall be approved in advance by the Commission.
has the authority to suspend the right to use the acequia and the water
therein of a parciante who is delinquent in the payment of his or her
assessment or fails to perform required work. This shall remain in
effect until the assessments and fines are paid. The Mayordomo has the
authority to collect delinquent assessments through appropriate legal
action. Officers of the Acequia de La Puebla may file a civil action for
the collection of any assessment, fine or penalty, which, after due
notice to the parciante, the parciante has failed to pay.
An acequia may deny water to a delinquent parciante, (Sections73-2-25 and 73-3-6). In addition, the Mayordomo has authority under state law to bring a civil action in district or magistrate court to collect delinquent assessments. (Section 732-26.) If the acequia prevails in court, the offending party must pay the acequia's attorney fees. Anyone who continues to take water without paying assessments and attorney fees is required to pay a civil penalty of up to $200.
Any person who, contrary to an order of the Mayordomo or Commission,
interferes with the Acequia de La Puebla historical easements, its
laterals, sluices/desagues, and the sluice/desague drainage channels, in
any manner, or takes or uses acequia water without permission of the
Mayordomo or Commission commits a criminal misdemeanor and may be
prosecuted in accordance with the laws of New Mexico. A civil and/or
criminal action may also be pursued against the violator.
Acequias have several remedies for these infractions, including criminal prosecution, obtaining an injunction, and a civil penalty of up to $5000. (NMSA Section 73-2-64 & 73-2-5). The District Attorney may assist the acequia.
Any person who interferes with the Acequia de La Puebla historical
easement, its laterals, sluices/desagues, and the sluice/desague
drainage channels, or prevents access to the easement commits a criminal
misdemeanor and may be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of New
Mexico. A civil and/or criminal action may also be pursued against the
Acequias have several remedies for these infractions including criminal misdemeanor prosecution, obtaining an injunction, and a civil penalty up to $5000.00 (NMSA Sections 73-2-64 & 73-2-5). The District Attorney may assist the acequia.
The members of Acequia de La
Puebla declare that a transfer of a water right served by the Acequia,
or a transfer of a water right into the area served by the Acequia, may
be detrimental to both the Acequia and its parciantes. Therefore, any
such proposed transfer by any person or entity must be formally approved
by the Acequia de La Puebla Commissioners, using the procedure in
Appendix A, prior to application for the transfer to the Office of the
State Engineer. This Article and Appendix A are adopted under Section
73-2-21 (E) NMSA 1978 (for Article 2 Acequias)
These bylaws may be enacted, amended, or modified by a majority vote by a minimum of at least 5% of the total membership present at any duly called meeting.
Where not otherwise covered by these bylaws, the requirements of state law shall be applicable. These bylaws are supplemental to any applicable provisions of NM State law.
any part or application of these bylaws is held invalid, the remainder
of its application to other situations or persons shall not be affected.