Water Panel Hears Testimony from Na Wai ‘Eha Water Applicants

December 2, 2010, 1:10 PM HST · Updated December 2, 1:32 PM
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By Wendy Osher

The Commission on Water Resource Management continues a public hearing on Maui today to gather testimony on existing water use at Na Wai ‘Eha. The meeting began yesterday and addresses objections to the various uses of surface water from the Waihee, Waiehu, Iao and Waikapu Streams that make up the water system.

A sign at Iao Valley State Park points to the significance of Na Wai 'Eha and the streams that sustained the life below. Photo by Wendy OSHER.

A total of 130 applications are being reviewed over the two day period, with today’s hearing scheduled to run until 4 p.m. at the Paia Community Center.

Water users are being asked to establish whether their existing water use can be accommodated, if it is reasonable and beneficial, and if it is consistent with the public interest.

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Earlier this year, the State Commission on Water Resource Management issued a final decision in the contested case to set interim instream flow standards for the four streams known collectively as Na Wai ‘Eha. The case was initiated by several Maui community groups, petitioning for the restoration of stream-flows for traditional and customary practices, as well as the support of stream life.

In June, the Commission ordered the following amended interim instream flow standards:

• Waihe‘e stream IIFS are10 million gallons per day;

• North Waiehu stream IIFS are 1.6 million gallons per day;

• South Waiehu stream IIFS are 0.9 million gallons per day; and

• ‘Iao stream and Waikapu stream IIFS remain at the current levels

In compliance with the order, Wailuku Water Company and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company announced the release of water past their diversions in the Waihe’e River and North and South Waiehu Streams on August 9, 2010.

*** Below are some file videos we produced from previous Water Resources hearings focusing on Water Rights for Maui.

NA WAI EHA File Footage from Evidentiary Hearing (NOvember 12, 2008)

VIDEO 1 East Maui Water Hearing – Decision Nears (December 17, 2009)

VIDEO 2 East Maui Water Rights Part 3 Landmark Decision (November 6, 2008)

VIDEO 3 East Maui Water Rights Part 2 with Bush Martin and Terry Akuna (November 6, 2008)

VIDEO 4 East Maui Water Rights Part 1 with Taro Farmer Ed Wendt (November 6, 2008)

*** If you enjoyed this story, you may also like our previous post on the Release of Water at Na Wai ‘Eha or another post containing background information on the Na Wai ‘Eha contested case.

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