Maui News

SURVEY COULD INFLUENCE FUTURE STREAM FLOWS FOR E. MAUI FARMERS

May 24, 2009, 8:55 PM HST
* Updated May 29, 8:17 AM
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Farmers have until today (Thursday, May 28, 2009) to submit a survey that could influence future stream flows in east Maui.  The Maui County Farm Bureau began distributing the survey several months ago in the hopes of obtaining information on water usage and needs.  The information from the survey will help the farm bureau in its communications with the State Commission on Water Resource Management as it develops policies for instream flow standards as mandated by the State Water Code.  According to the state department of agriculture, these policies will have a direct impact on the amount of water that will be available for agriculture.  The deadline to submit the survey is May 28th.  The contact number for more information is 281-9718.

E. Maui farmers urged to submit survey that could have impact on future instream flow standards.  Photo of Keanae Loi by Wendy Osher 2009)

E. Maui farmers urged to submit survey that could have impact on future instream flow standards. Photo of Keanae Loi by Wendy Osher 2009)

The survey was distributed by the Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) requesting that farmers and ranchers submit agricultural water information. MCFB e-mailed a survey to agricultural associations, farmers and ranchers in East Maui County.

The information from the survey will help provide information to the Commission on Water Resource Management as it develops policies for instream flow standards as mandated by the State Water Code. According to the state department of agriculture, these policies will have a direct impact on the amount of water that will be available for agriculture.

All farms and ranches on East Maui receive their water from streams in East Maui.

Pertinent information that MCFB is asking for includes:

  • How is water used on your farm?
  • If changes have occurred, do you avoid planting during certain periods due to uncertainty of water availability?
  • What practices are done to make best use of water?
  • Explain the agricultural value & other values that result from the use of the water.
  • Are you are planning investments; and what are your assumptions are on the availability of water?
  • What will happen if your access to water was reduced?
  • If you have greater assurance of water, will you expand?
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“Farming and ranching operations cannot survive without water,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chair-person of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.  “So it is imperative that East Maui farmers and ranchers participate in this survey as the future of agriculture depends on the availability of irrigation water.”

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The deadline to submit the surveys is May 28.  Farmers and ranchers who have not yet submitted their information yet or have questions about the survey, may contact MCFB Executive Director Warren Watanabe at 281-9718.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

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