Robustness and vulnerability of community irrigation systems: The case of the Taos valley acequias
Traditional economic and policy analysis theory has emphasized the implementation of private or public property rights regimes in order to sustainably manage natural resources. More recent work has challenged this approach by examining the strengths and weakness of common property governance of such resources. This paper contributes to this literature by analyzing the acequia irrigation communities in northern New Mexico. Through statistical analysis, we find that the acequias' ability to maintain collective-action as estimated by a critical performance function, crop production, is aided by water sharing agreements and access to groundwater, and that it is hampered by property rights fragmentation and urbanization.
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