Western settlement patterns, past and present, have always followed the water. The majority of fertile valley bottoms and accessible water resources are thus privately managed. The way in which we manage our water resources impacts everything from agricultural productivity to our neighbors and communities to fish and wildlife populations. As landowners, we are committed to identifying and implementing best management practices in the conservation and wise use of water.

Water Rights in the West: What Every Landowner Needs to Know

Few things are as crucial to ranch operations as water. Getting a handle on your water rights may seem akin to drinking from a fire hose, but it is wildly important. Western water is complex, contentious, and rooted in rich history. For anyone who owns or operates a working landscape, making the investment to become an expert on your water rights can give you an amazing window into the history of both your property and region, and prove invaluable when the inevitable conflict arises. This must-read article will help get you started.

Acequia Waters, by Ernest Atencio (2001)

Acequias refer to both irrigation ditches and the community of farmers organized around them; they are the lifeblood of northern New Mexico. In this 8-page article written in 2001 and published by Rivers & Birds, Ernest Atencio provides an in-depth explanation of this ancient community governance system used to share and manage water.

Watersheds and Communities

A short educational video explaining the way watersheds work and how their function is connected to human communities and quality of life.

Stewardship with Vision: Caring for New Mexico’s Streams

Private stewardship of Western land and water plays a vital role in the health of the West. This must-read guide highlights the importance of New Mexico landowners to our economic and environmental future.

Trout Unlimited’s Colorado Landowner’s Guide to Stream Restoration

By investing in stream improvements and wildlife habitat, landowners can enhance their property values and bottom lines.

Visit Website

Holistic Management of Riparian Areas from HMI

Long-time Holistic Management practitioner Agee Smith offers a presentation of the work he has done to improve the riparian corridors through holistic planned grazing.

Visit Website

Join WLA to stay up to date on the most important news and policy for land stewards.

Become a member for free today and we will send you the news and policy developments critical to the economic and ecological health of working lands.

WLA works on behalf of landowners and practitioners throughout the West. We will never share your contact information with anyone.

©2023 Western Landowners Alliance • PO BOX 27798, Denver, CO 80227 • 505.466.1495 • Privacy Policy