La Cienega Valley Association

Protecting and preserving our acequia culture and agricultural traditions…

 Entries are closed for the 2nd Annual Photo Contest 
Click/Tap Here on October 20 to see Finalists and vote for Community Choice!

LCVA News – September 3, 2015

La Cienega Water Monitoring Project

Please take the time to read the following press release that was distributed Wednesday.

It is important community news and the product of a commitment by the LCVA Board and LCVA Water Committee and the leadership of Museum Director Dawn St. George and all our community friends at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Technical support is of the highest caliber and is provided by Peggy Johnson and Stacy Timmons with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. The LCVA would also like to recognize and thank Kyle Harwood for bringing the project together and making it happen.

Please consider contributing to the gofundme that we (Kyle) put together to fund the first two years of our comprehensive Water Monitoring Program. Any amount you can contribute will help and be sincerely appreciated. Please feel free to share this with your family and friends.

Crowdfunding is designed to allow a lot of small contributors to get together to make something special happen.

You can be part of something special.

La Cienega Valley Association and NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Launches Fundraising Campaign to Protect Water
El Ranchos de las Golondrinas to Match Funds

SANTA FE, NM___The community of La Cienega today launched a fundraising campaign to finance comprehensive research into what impacts climate change and drought are having on the aquifers that feed the springs, ponds, wells and acequias in the area.

La Cienega Valley Association has set up a GoFundMe site at with the goal of raising $10,000 for the research project being conducted in partnership with New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resource, a research division of New Mexico Tech.

El Ranchos de las Golondrinas, the national historic registered and acclaimed living history museum in La Cienega, has pledged a matching donation of $10,000.
The goal is to gather scientific data that will provide insight to La Cienega and communities across the arid Southwest about the effects of pumping, drought, groundwater recharge, climate variability and land use changes.

The springs in La Cienega, La Cieneguilla, El Canon and La Bajada have diminished over the last 40 years and the community is concerned about protecting its water supplies as well as its centuries-old acequia culture and agriculture traditions.

This unusual privately funded research and proactive effort is crucial to protect aquifers that feed the water supplies. Without it, the water sources and farms dating back to the 1600s will disappear in the next 20 to 30 years.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” said Kyle Harwood, El Rancho de las Golondrinas board member, La Cienega resident and water attorney with Egolf, Ferlic and Day.
“We also hope that this advanced research will help other communities across New Mexico and the Southwest learn how to better protect their vital groundwater resources.” Harwood said.

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resource is working with the community to develop a comprehensive two-year water monitoring plan to increase the number of wells being monitored from five to 35 in geologically strategic sites.

Researchers plan to analyze groundwater measurements, precipitation data and daily stream discharge data to help quantify regional and wetland water budgets, learn more about how evaporation affects streams, help differentiate between seasonal and climate-related stream flow variations and long-term impacts from groundwater depletion and support groundwater flow models by the Office of the State Engineer.

There is also a great article on our water monitoring program in this week’s Reporter.


Don’t forget the community breakfast this Saturday for the great food and the chance to catch up with friends and all the community news.

As always we need volunteers to help with set up, in the kitchen and with the cleanup. The Center is going to be used later in the day so we need to end at 10:30 with announcements beginning before that.

It will also be an opportunity to sign up to volunteer for the Halloween event at Golondrinas.

Community Party

We are finalizing the details for a community party, noon to 4, Saturday, October 10 on the infield at the Downs. It will be a community potluck with music and children activities.

We are looking for local musicians who would like to be a part of the community party music experience. Please contact me if you are interested.

La Cienega Photo Contest

Another reminder to submit your photos for the Second Annual La Cienega Photo Contest. Contest details at