Information about Acequias
The original settlers of Southern Colorado brought with them a form of land settlement and irrigation that was based on principles of equity, shared scarcity and cooperation in which water was viewed as a resource in place, rather than a commodity. This type of water system is called an acequia. Acequias continue to be the lifeblood of residents in Southern Costilla County – they not only serve to provide the water for the farms on which 270 families depend, but they also serve as a conduit for community services and support.
Wikipedia on Acequias:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acequia New Mexico State University research on Acequias:
The Acequia Institute. To download a copy of the seminal article by Gregory A. Hicks and Devon G. Peña (2003) Community acequias in Colorado's Rio Culebra Watershed: A customary commons in the domain of prior appropriation, University of Colorado Law Review 74:2:387-486, please follow the link and scroll down to the .pdf download at link #3: Hicks and Peña.