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Questions remain regarding Na Wai Eha settlement

May 1, 2014
Alana Kay - Kihei , Maui Weekly

I am pleased that the state Department on Water Resource Management has made adjustments to an earlier settlement, providing for a larger volume of stream restoration to Na Wai Eha than was previously ordered. I hope that the amount of flow restoration will allow for the reestablishment of natural habitats and be sufficient to accommodate Hawaiian cultural practices, especially wetland kalo. This flow restoration is important and integral on so many levels.

I did notice that the COO of Wailuku Water Company indicated that he may have to increase the cost of delivering water to Maui County, which currently pays around 69 cents per gallon for this service. We pay substantially less for water delivery from HC&S, which is known to have substantial leaks in its system.

Several questions remain unanswered. What will the County of Maui do in the short-term as well as the long-term to mitigate damage to the 'Iao aquifer caused by the remaining stream diversions? Also, how can the County of Maui continue to justify the purchase of water from private entities and look the other way when they waste water, while continually increasing the cost of obtaining water and water meters for the typical consumer as well as agriculture?

It is not a secret that water has been legislated to be a public trust resource and I realize that there are many laws that complicate the matter. I believe that it is time for our administrators and legislators to bring this subject into integrity, because more and more every day, the public is getting enraged over this subject and I am sure we are not going away until everything is pono.

Alana Kay




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