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Agreement Reached!: Streamwater flow to be increased in Na Wai ‘Eha!

Agreement was reached on the issue of streamwater flow for the Na Wai Eha – four waters of Wailuku.  Below in the official comment from Hui o Na Wai ‘Eha, and the news release from DLNR.

Official Statement from Hui o Nā Wai ‘Ehā………..
Mahalo for everyone’s support through this long and arduous process! It has been almost 10 years to the day that we have been working towards restoring the streams of of Nā Wai ‘Ehā. The IIFs (Interim Instream Flow Standards) is just one hurdle that we have overcome today! Everyone NEEDS to know that in this settlement, only 3 of the 4 streams (Waihe’e, Waiehu, and Wailuku (ʻĪao) ) will be flowing mauka to makai. Although a good portion of Waikapū Stream will be restored, most if not all of that flow will continue to be diverted where the Waiheʻe Ditch intake crosses under Waikapū Stream. The Keālia Wetlands and Māʻalaea Bay will NOT benefit from this restoration. Also, Wailuku Water Company’s diversions NEED to be modified to enable mauka to makai stream flow connectivity. This is a MUST for our native stream life (ʻoʻopu, hīhīwai, ʻopae) to survive. As mentioned, this a positive first step forward however, there are many more issues that need to be resolved in order to truly say all 4 streams in Nā Wai ʻEhā are restored and flowing mauka to makai. Mahalo for everyone’s support! E ola ka wai a Kāne! E ola nō ‘o Nā Wai ‘Ehā!

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DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

NEIL ABERCROMBIE
GOVERNOR

WILLIAM J. AILA JR,
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate News Release April 21, 2014

MAUI PARTIES REACH AGREEMENT IN NA WAI EHA
AMENDED INTERIM INSTREAM FLOW WATER CASE

HONOLULU –  The Parties in the Na Wai ‘Eha Contested Case Hearing on Maui (Hui O Na Wai Eha and Maui Tomorrow Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Wailuku Water Company, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply) have reached an agreement with regard to the Amended Interim Instream Flow Standards for Waihe‘e, Waiehu, ‘Iao, and Waikapu streams on Maui.

Under this agreement, more water will be returned to the streams of Na Wai Eha, particularly to ‘Iao stream.

The Parties addressed six issues the Hawaii Supreme Court asked the State Commission on Water Resource Management (“Commission”) to consider, including the effect of instream flows on traditional and customary practices and alternative management actions.  In Re ‘Iao Ground Water Management Area, Hawaii Supreme Court (No. SCAP-30603, August 15, 2012).

The Parties reached an agreement and entered a Stipulation with the assistance of a mediator, Mr. Robbie Alm. The Hearing Officer Dr. Larry Miike reviewed the mediated agreement and recommended approval. The Attorney General reviewed and approved the settlement.

Finally, the State Commission on Water Resource Management reviewed and approved the Stipulation which settles the lawsuit.

William J. Aila, Jr., Chairperson of the State Commission on Water Resources Management praised the Parties and their lawyers for creating a solution to this long and extraordinarily difficult conflict through their own efforts.  “It was the Parties themselves who chose to reach this agreement. Without their collective will to work out a solution, this would not have happened.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie agreed saying, “After decades of disagreement, this is a huge step forward in the history of water on Maui. There is more to be done, but we look forward to working with all the Parties in the future. The mediator and the Water Commission helped facilitate the conversation, but it was really the people on Maui who made it possible.”

A copy of the Commission’s Order, the Hearing Officer’s Recommendation, and the Parties’ Stipulation.

Media Contact:

Deborah Ward
Public Information Specialist
(808) 587-0320

 

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