FLOW STANDARDS AT 19 EAST MAUI STREAMS UNDER REVIEW

December 14, 2009, 3:45 PM HST · Updated December 14, 3:47 PM
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The State Commission on Water Resource Management will hold a meeting this Wednesday, December 16 to hear recommendations on 19 east Maui instream flow standard petitions.

The streams under consideration have been used for more than 100 years to provide water for sugar in the central Maui plains.  More recently, surface water has also gone to upcountry Maui residents for domestic and agricultural use.

The Commission must determine how much water is required to flow in the streams for the protection of native fish and wildlife, recreation, scenic views, and other beneficial stream values.   The state commission is tasked with balancing instream uses with water for drinking and home use as well as agriculture, cultivation of taro and hydropower.

A little over one year ago, the Commission amended the instream flow standards for the hydrologic units at five other East Maui Streams.  The body is now looking at standards at:  Waikamoi, Alo, Wahinepe’e, Puohokamoa, Haipua’ena, Punalau/Kolea, Honomanu, Nua’ailua, ‘Ohi’a, West Wailuaiki, East Wailuaiki, Kopili’ula, Puaka’a, Waiohue, Pa’akea, Wai’a’aka, Kapa’ula, Hanawi, and Makapipi.

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In October, the Commission held a public fact gathering meeting in Pa’ia to accept oral and written testimony from the public on the remaining 19 streams. The Commission staff will present their findings and recommendations on these remaining petitions at a meeting set for 10 a.m., Wednesday, December 16 at the Pa’ia Community Center.

“While the proposed recommendations seek to balance the instream and non-instream uses, they were also developed in consideration of last year’s decision by the Commission,” said Ken Kawahara, Water Commission deputy director.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; supporting information provided by the state of Hawaii)

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