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Who Controls Water, Controls Maui’s Future

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Water, the life blood of Maui, is a sacred public trust embedded in our Hawaii State Constitution.  Corporate Democrats have voted to give this vital resource to a foreign nation’s pension plan.  The voting records on water rights by four House Representative incumbents heightens the need to replace Troy Hashimoto, Kyle Yamashita, and Justin Woodson.  These three voted “Yes” to endorse and enact bills nicknamed after their devastating community impact.  Lynn Decoite abstained on one and voted yes on another bill.

  • HB 1326:  The water theft bill

  • HB 2677:  The water give-away bill

  • HB 2828:  The water banking bill

Hawaii Water Bills and our State Legislators

The introduction by Lucienne de Naie and Clare Apana illustrates the frustration of dealing with these entrenched politicians, the devastating impact to our community and the boon to big money offshore interests.

Balance Water Distribution from Mauka to Makai"

The Way it is
  • The state owns all the water. It leases water rights to A&B, the County, and other water users. The watersheds themselves, in E. Maui, are 2/3 state land (leased to A&B in part) and 1/3 A&B owned. State and County are not working together.

  • A&B owns all the stream diversions and the ditch/flume/tunnel system that transports water from E Maui to Upcountry and the Central Valley.

  • The present water distribution is ineffective.  (1) The open ditch system spills a lot and evaporation from the open ditches wastes a lot of water. (2)  The diversion dams are 19th century technology, without any kind of automatic controls and sensors. (3) The old diversion dams will be washed away whenever a locally heavy storm dumps record rain in any one watershed, as happened twice on Maui in the last two years, and just last month on Kauai. 30 to 40% of our precious resource is lost.

  • There is a contested case hearing about how much water must be left in each of the main twenty-two E Maui streams that is ready for decision after 15 years of litigation.

  • How much of the “excess” water A&B can divert in the future, now how much more the County can take as upcountry develops. The question of how much A&B and the County can use with that system is in limbo.

  • The distribution system is not being maintained properly now, and really needs modernization.

  • Right now A&B gets a windfall, paying only a fraction of the price all the other users of that water pay.

 

What we can do
  • Find out our daily sustainable usage of water with requirements to restore the aquifer and keep within this balance.

  • Test our water for poisons and other chemicals sprayed by Monsanto, A&B, and other large chemical based farming. Monsanto/Bayer needs to be regulated.

  • Set a fair price for use of the state water, no matter who uses it. Enforce laws to protect well heads, a county right.

  • Fair and equitable solution regarding water rights for the betterment of Maui including restoring our streams and fresh water ecosystems.

  • Explore county and public ownership of the watershed and distribution system.

  • Fix the leaky distribution system and send the sacred water to support the common good instead of A&B development.

  • Ensure Native Hawaiian’s rights of 30% compensation for profits from water diversion – as provided in the State Constitution.