Santa Barbara acequias to meet about sharing


A second gathering of all the acequias in the Santa Barbara watershed is set for this evening (May 3).

Michael Romero, an acequia user in Peñasco, kept seeing reports about the drought, and once the irrigation water was turned on, saw just how little there was. Water sharing, he said, "has been a concern of ours for many years." But about a month ago, he and fellow irrigators decided to "hit it head on."

Representatives from 15 ditches in the Peñasco Valley gathered April 19 to figure out how to share water in this season of little.

Within an hour, everyone agreed and voted to split the water evenly among the ditches, Romero said. They also formed the Río de Santa Barbara Irrigation Association, a coalition "to deal with this on a regular basis," Romero said.

The water-sharing agreement and the association will be topics of conversation at today's meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Llano de San Juan Community Center, on Upper Llano Road about a quarter-mile past the end of State Road 73.