Water

Water binds and defines. Water crafted the mountains, canyons and mesas that characterize the region. Water gave life and form to the cultures and wildlife that call this land home. It is in the value of water that the future of the region is being shaped.

"Our water is in trouble. We've got extensive exploration of fossil fuel resources, industrial-scale dairy operations, a growing population, and other human pressures that are putting a huge strain on New Mexico's water resources. Then there is the intensifying impact of climate change. We're seeing decreased snowpack, warming rivers, and increased wildfires across the entire region. The resiliency of the cultural and ecological landscapes is being tested."

-- Rachel Conn, Projects Director, Amigos Bravos, Friends of the Wild Rivers, Taos, NM

"My family came to the Montezuma Valley in 1909. My grandfather started the post office here. At the time, the Town of Lewis was just getting water from the diversion project they started back around 1885. Newcomers came for the opportunities that water brought. All you have to do is fly over this area and you can see where and how water has been developed. It's a desert region. If we're going to grow food, we've got to have the water. There is no other option."

--John Porter, farmer and retired General Manager of the Dolores Water District Conservancy, Lewis, Colorado

the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Susan Thomas