The photo above shows just a small part of a vast network of irrigation ditches that carry water to the county's farms and ranches. Most of the towns depend upon community wells to bring water to the residents. These wells are fed from age old aquafers deep underground. The irrigation ditches are primarily fed from that great river, the Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande starts high in the mountains of Colorado, fed from springs and small creeks. As it flows south it gathers volume from snowmelt, rainwater, and the input of numerous small creeks, springs and rivers. The Rio Grande splits the state of New Mexico in half, goes down to the Texas border then flow southeast, forming the border between the United States and the Republic of Mexico. (In Mexico the river is called Rio del Norte.) Texas has legitimate claims to part of the Rio Grande's water, and even Mexico has periodically laid similar claims. Water rights claims in the southwestern parts of the United States have been a constant source of friction between states and individual municipalities and persons for may years, because without the watere, places like Valencia County would dry up and blow away.