Maui Water Use and Development Plan Public Hearing Requested for Oct. 9
Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura announced today she’s requested a public hearing concurrent with first reading of the Maui Island Water Use and Development Plan on Oct. 9.
A public hearing designation would allow for more extensive notification of the Oct. 9 council meeting than usual, including through newspaper advertising, Sugimura said.
“The updated Water Use and Development Plan for Maui will provide a 20-year, resource-focused blueprint for the management and use of the island’s precious water resources,” Sugimura said. “This update has undergone extensive review to reach this point, but it’s important to take all possible steps ensure everyone has a chance to weigh in before the council votes.”
State and county law requires each county to prepare and periodically update water use and development plans as components of the State of Hawai‘i Water Plan, Sugimura said.
Starting in 2015, the Department of Water Supply held numerous meetings to develop the plan with key stakeholders, including Aha Moku O Maui, the Agricultural Working Group, Kula/Honua‘ula Moku, the Maui Realtors Association and other community groups.
Throughout 2016, the Board of Water Supply held public meetings and workshops on the plan in Central Maui (three meetings), West Maui (three), Upcountry (three), East Maui (three) and Kaupō (one).
The board and department continued to meet and get input from public bodies—such as the State Commission on Water Resource Management, the Maui County Cultural Resources Commission and the prior council’s Water Resources Committee—through 2018.
In November and December 2018, the Board of Water Supply held public hearings on the plan in Hāna, Kīhei, Lahaina, Pukalani and Wailuku. The board sent a letter detailing its comments and concerns to the Department of Water Supply on Jan. 22, 2019, and the department submitted the plan to the council on March 22, 2019.
Sugimura said the plan has evolved through review and input from community outreach and policy meetings to collect feedback and evaluate scrutiny. After approval by the council by ordinance, the plan will be sent to the State Commission on Water Resource Management for final approval.
The Water, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, chaired by Sugimura, voted unanimously 9-0 to recommend adoption of a proposed bill adopting the proposed Maui Island Water Use and Development Plan, including an updated addendum, on Aug. 4. A copy of the bill to approve the plan is available on the committee’s website at MauiCounty.us.
The council meeting and public hearing agendas will be published Oct. 2. Testimony will be accepted by email and live video conference or phone call.