New Project Seeks To Improve Water Management

Release valve for holding tank. Courtesy photo



Los Alamos


Rivers in New Mexico are often nothing more than a slow trickle.


David Montoya grew up in a family who has used traditional irrigation for generations. He is concerned because small farms can no longer get by as well as they used to using the acequia system.


“Drought conditions in the Southwest have caused quite a disruption in how irrigation is done,” Montoya said. “There is little water left for traditional irrigation.”


Montoya decided to do something about it. He is investigating how to use sensor technology to help local farmers manage their water. His goal is to improve how water is managed and allocated. He is raising funds to support his research on Main Street Crowd here. (


New Mexico has more than 700 Acequia systems that consist of aqueducts, holding tanks and ditch systems. They do not meet the needs of the people who depend on them.


The project will begin by gathering information. Montoya will visit with farmers, ranchers and mayordomos to understand where the problems are and how he may address them. He will then develop and field test prototypes.


In addition to donations, Montoya is looking for input from acequia representatives and collaborators with relevant expertise. He can be reached at