By Wendy Osher
Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $1.5 million for the Upcountry Maui Watershed project, and $200,000 for improvements to the Molokaʻi Irrigation System.
The funds are part of a larger $7.8 million release for various capital improvement projects that invest in the state’s local agricultural industry and upgrade the state’s water irrigation infrastructure.
The funds for the Upcountry Watershed will be used to install a new dual agricultural water pipeline on the upper slope of Kula, according to a state announcement.
According to the governor, the pipeline is designed to provide an “adequate and consistent” water supply to existing farms, and provide relief to domestic water treatment requirements by reducing the quantity of water requiring treatment.
On Molokaʻi, funds will go towards the planning and design to: replace an above-ground concrete flume with an underground pipeline; provide structural stabilization of an access bridge; repair a 250,000-gallon irrigation water storage tank; and bury above ground water meters, according to state officials.
“Safeguarding our water supplies is a high-priority natural resource goal of this administration,” said Abercrombie in a press release. “These projects will upgrade the state’s aging agricultural infrastructure to create a more reliable water supply for many of the farmers and ranchers that support Hawaiʻi’s economy,” he said.
Additional projects included in the funding release include: $2.5 million for improvements to the Waiāhole Water System on Oʻahu; $1.4 million for improvements at the Kekaha Ditch on Kauaʻi; $925,000 for improvements to the Waimanalo Irrigation System on Oʻahu; $750,000 for the Galbraith Lands Irrigation System at Lake Wilson on Oʻahu; $340,000 for improvements at the Waimea Irrigation System on Hawaiʻi Island; and $250,000 for improvements at the Waimanalo Irrigation System on Oʻahu.