Acequia association appoints executive director


SAN LUIS — The Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association (SdCAA) recently welcomed Mathew Valdez as executive director.

Valdez has 17 years of local government and land use experience and is a parciante (irrigator) on the Acequia del Cerro.

The non-profit SdCAA was formed to ensure the sustainability and traditional governance of acequia culture; it operates under a volunteer board and has held a Congreso for acequeiros each fall since 2012. In 2016, it received an initial grant from the San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection Initiative (SLVCCI) which provided board training and development of a strategic plan.

The Strategic Plan includes capacity development and membership expansion in the four counties in which acequias are recognized in Colorado Law: Costilla, Conejos, Huerfano and Las Animas. The Strategic Plan will also strengthen the association’s foundation to ensure its long-term sustainability and viability of its mission to provide services and assistance to Colorado acequias and education for the next generation and the public about the historic and contemporary significance of acequias and traditional agriculture in the region.

The 2017 grant cycle enabled the association to engage Valdez as its first full-time employee and will also provide office equipment, improvements to the website, and support for the Congreso as well as a number of workshops with additional funds from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

The SdCAA acknowledges with thanks the support of the SLVCCI and its coordinating partners:  the LOR Foundation, Western Rivers Conservancy, Colorado Open Lands, and the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust.

For further information, contact Executive Director SdCAA Mathew Valdez at 719-672-0810 or