Abstract for: Long-term Dynamics of Acequia Population in New Mexico

There is evidence that traditional irrigation communities in New Mexico, United States, which are also known as acequias, benefit the state's socio-economic-hydrologic systems in many respects. Despite their long-term resistance to their arid environment, these communities have been declining since 1980s. This paper identifies socio-economic-hydrologic mechanisms responsible for such decline and explores potential challenges that it may impose to both rural and urban life in New Mexico. Results show that current trend of urban growth is not sustainable. Turning the trend is shown to be extremely difficult, though. Sensitive areas of the system are identified and directions for future research are suggested. Additionally, the presented model provides a basis for future modeling in the political economy of acequias.