Watering from the Irrigation Ditch

Fortunately for us, our new property came with access to the Chanate acequia which is part of the Rio Grande Valley’s centuries-old 300 mile network of irrigation ditches and canals.

For approximately $25 per year (payable to the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District), we can access water from this ditch on a weekly basis during the growing season.

Because we have a 30ft irrigation well to water our gardens (we really lucked out!! We also have a 300ft well for the house) we use the ditch water specifically for irrigating the various trees that form a natural screen along the perimeter of our property. These trees – Austrian Pines, Russian Olives, Autumn Olives to name a few – are planted along canals designed by the previous owner to receive water from the ditch.

With the help of my neighbor Terry, I’ve been learning how to navigate the gates and turnouts of the ditch. You need to be careful because the water can come fast and, if not managed properly, could jump the ditch and end up flooding someone’s house.

I have a lot of fun watering with the ditch (as do our dogs Maggie and Tessie) and am getting better at it. Last week I washed out one of the planks that I use as a walkway to cross where the water enters our property. I did better this week though. -Tree

Jen removes leaves blocking flow

Maggie plays crocodile

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