Design Assistance for Water-and Energy-Wise Communities, New Mexico

ALI recently completed a 3-year grant funded by HUD, “Design Assistance for Water-and Energy-Wise Communities,” in which rural stormwater potentials have been mapped and modeled in the Lower Embudo Valley, New Mexico.  Working in partnership with local acequias and the Planning Department of Rio Arriba County, ALI design studios analyzed local, county, and state policy objectives for water, land, culture and economy; conducted field work identifying major impediments to those objectives, including flooding, erosion, dumping, septics, and invasive species; performed detailed analytic mapping of acequias and arroyos; and proposed preliminary design strategies for rethinking planting and settlement patterns in the face of projected climate impacts.  The grant also provided seed funding for service learning and public programming, giving rise to the annual symposium, Celebrando las Acequias, that now draws several hundred members of the public each year.