La Cienega Valley Association

Protecting and preserving our acequia culture and agricultural traditions…

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LCVA News – May 10, 2015

Community Clean Up

It is a needed spring cleaning for our community. Please join us next Saturday, May 16 to pick up the trash throughout the community. We are going to meet at 9:00 a.m. at the “triangle” across from the El Rancho de las Golondrinas parking lot, just look for the red and silver truck. You will pick up bags, vests, water and there will be something to snack on before you start out.

The community will be broken down into cleaning areas. You can simply identify an area you want to be responsible for cleaning or be assigned an area. Trash bags can be left by the side of the road and will be picked up by the LCVA and taken to the transfer station. Please be careful and safe at all times.

La Cieneguilla LCVA Board Election

Please be advised that the election between Marizabal Ulibarri and Kathryn Becker who were nominated to represent La Cieneguilla on the LCVA Board. The election will be held at 7:00 p.m. just before the LCVA Board meeting on Monday, June 1 at the La Cienega Community Center. Only residents from La Cieneguilla who have are members of the LCVA are eligible to vote. Further details on the election will be provided by the Nominating Committee.

LCVA Bylaws Committee

The LCVA will be reestablishing the LCVA Bylaws committee that will be led by Holly Bostwick and Elliot Eisner. Please contact me if you would like to be part of the bylaws committee.

LCVA Board Representative Lower La Cienega east side of the La Cienega Creek

As noted previously, Linda Grill has resigned her LCVA Board position. I have the responsibility of selecting her replacement. In that process I would welcome nominations from residents along Paseo C’de Baca, Camino San Jose and from Las Lagunitas. Please provide your nominations by Thursday of this week.

Water Monitoring Plan

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral has begun our community’s comprehensive water monitoring and you can help to support it. Just below is a description of the monitoring plan and its purpose that was provided by Stacy Timmons, Hydro-geologist and Aquifer Mapping Program Manager with the Bureau.

As noted before our generous community friends at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas have already committed $10,000 for the program. The cost of the first two years of the study is $20,000 so the remaining $10,000 will be raised by the community. The funding effort will be coordinated by the La Cienega Valley Association (LCVA) and will involve soliciting contributions from local businesses and associations, large land owners, residents, Santa Fe County and entities interested in preserving our spring-fed wetlands, unique riparian areas and our community’s historic agricultural traditions.

The LCVA will be organizing an adopt-a-well program as a way for individuals to participate in the study. The LCVA is finalizing the details on how the museum (serving as the fiscal agent for contributions) wants to handle donations and then the LCVA is going to call upon you to help out. Whether its $10 or $50 or a $100 you can afford – please be a part of this very special and important monitoring program. There is nothing more important to the future of our spring-fed valley.

From Stacy Timmons:

“Measurement of groundwater levels in the arid southwest provides insights to effects of pumping, drought, groundwater recharge, climate variability, and land use changes. In the area around La Cienega, through funding from El Rancho de las Golondrinas and the community, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (a research division of New Mexico Tech) is monitoring groundwater levels in several local wells. This information will provide essential information that will aide in local water management decision making, groundwater model development, and provide community awareness of the limited water resources. To kick it off, in early April 2015, we measured water levels in approximately 35 community, municipal and domestic wells in key geological areas. We have instrumented five, soon to be eight, wells with continuous groundwater level monitoring devices to provide high frequency measurements.”

“We will re-measure water levels in a subset of the 35 wells again in October 2015 and in 2016. The timing of these measurements is to capture the seasonal highs and lows for groundwater in the region, as observed in a previous study we conducted in recent years, published in the following report: Measurements we are collecting will be compared with historical measurements to provide insight to effects and influences on the local groundwater aquifer system.”

“Just as we should keep an eye on the balance of our checking account, we should also pay close attention to the groundwater levels that supply our lives, homes, agriculture, and businesses. We must continue to pay attention to our groundwater and periodically check the “balance” of the water available in our water supply wells. In La Cienega, we are working to build a better understanding of the influences on the area’s water resources so that we can better plan for the future, which may include less recharge and increases in population.”