What is so important about Molokai’s water situation?

Progress on Water Policy in Maui County

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Community Contributed

Opinion by Keani Rawlins-Fernandez

Shortly after joining the council, I noticed unfairness in the structure of our county’s potable water rates.

A hotel or resort using over 35,000 gallons of water was charged a lower rate than a single-family dwelling using the same amount. This disparity was based on a technical defect in the rate structure: single-family dwellings had four tiers while the other category of all other general users each had only three. 

Hotels and resorts are used by visitors for the profit of offshore investors. Single-family dwellings are where our local residents raise their families. 

I have presented twice to the Board of Water Supply, with the intention of working with them and the Department of Water Supply to balance important policy goals—conservation and revenue generation—in addition to equity in rates. …

Water Quality Report Available Online

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Maui County News Release 

The Maui County Department of Water Supply announces the 2022 publication of the 2022 Water Quality Report for results of testing compiled from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021. This year marks the 24th year of providing this information to customers.

The annual report provides information about water quality and how the Maui County’s water compares with established federal and state drinking water standards. The department encourages customers to review the report. It provides details about the source and quality of the drinking water in 2021.

In an effort to be more environmentally responsible and cut down on costs, the department no longer prints these reports.…

Hoʻolehua Water Temporary Shut Off

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

DHHL News Release 

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), through its contractor Goodfellow Brothers, will conduct repair work on the main water storage tanks and distribution lines of the Ho‘olehua Water System beginning Monday, July 18.

As a result, DHHL will temporarily shut off service from its Hoʻolehua Water System to customers in the Ho‘olehua area on Tuesday, July 19 at 10 p.m. through Wednesday, July 20 at 6 a.m., subject to delays.

Water system customers in Ho‘olehua and Kalamaʻula are advised to conserve water ahead of and during the scheduled service interruption. Upon reactivation, some customers may experience low water pressure until the system is fully pressurized.…

Kawela Stream Diverted Again

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Molokai No Ka Heke News Release

On April 19, the state Commission on Water Resource Management approved a historic “median flow” level of stream restoration for Kawela Stream, and directed Molokai Ranch to fully restore Kawela Stream for a period of six months while the Ranch conducts an audit of its wasteful and inefficient mountain water system. Community group Molokai No Ka Heke has been pursuing restoration for Kawela since 2019.

On May 11, Molokai No Ka Heke joined Water Commission staff and Molokai Ranch lawyers at the East Kawela dam, and witnessed the temporary full restoration of Kawela. The stream had overtopped the dam, the diversion intake was stopped, and all Kawela water was flowing in the stream as ordered by the Commission.…

Call for Water Conservation

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Maui County News Release

With parts of Maui County under severe to extreme drought conditions, the Department of Water Supply is asking everyone to conserve water as much as possible during these hot, dry summer months.

The department is not immediately declaring a water shortage, although that step might be necessary in coming weeks without relief from current very dry conditions. The National Weather Service reports extreme drought on Maui in the lower leeward slopes of Haleakala between Maalaea and Wailea, and severe drought in Maui’s Central Valley and Upcountry. On Molokai, severe drought worsened to extreme drought on the west side of the island.…

Planning for Molokai’s Water Resources

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Planning for Molokai’s Water Resources

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A plan is being developed to analyze Molokai’s water resources and project how future water needs will be met. Public mana’o is currently being gathered on this important topic and planners are asking the community to share their voice. 

State of Hawaii Water Code requires each county to develop a Water Use and Development Plan, and Maui County is developing separate plans for Molokai, Lanai, and Maui to better address the unique needs of each island. The goal of Molokai’s plan is to provide a balance between the preservation and management of the island’s water resources, and sustainable ground and surface water use and development to service present users and future generations, according to planners. …

Water Use Plan Outreach

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Townscape News Release 

As a part of our community outreach for the Molokai Island Water Use and Development Plan, Townscape, Inc., consultant to the Maui County Department of Water Supply, will have staff on island to conduct in-person outreach. We would appreciate a chance to talk story with you and to get your manaʻo about your island’s water resources.

We will be setting up a booth pop-up style at a variety of locations during the third week of May. On Wednesday, May 18 we will be at Kualapuʻu Market from 1 to 5 p.m.; Thursday, May 19 at Friendly Market from 9 a.m.…

Water Use Plan Pop-Ups

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

Townscape News Release

As a part of our community outreach for the Molokai Island Water Use and Development Plan, Townscape, Inc., consultant to the Maui County Department of Water Supply, will have staff on island to conduct in-person outreach. 

We will be setting up a booth pop-up style at a variety of locations during the third week of May. The purpose of the outreach is threefold. We want to reach out to folks who have not been able to participate in the virtual meetings. We will share information about the work that has been done so far on the plan. And we want to better understand community sentiments and values for the island’s water resources.…

Historic Ruling to Restore Kawela Stream Flow

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

Historic Ruling to Restore Kawela Stream Flow

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

In a landmark decision last week, the state Commission on Water Resource Management unanimously ruled to restore flow levels to Kawela Stream and four others in the area, after they had been almost fully diverted for more than a century. It’s a huge victory for community members who advocated through group Molokai No Ka Heke, which filed a formal request for stream restoration in 2019. 

“After over a hundred years of Kawela waters being diverted across the island and wasted, we finally said enough is enough,” said Molokai No Ka Heke member Walter Ritte.  “The big ranching and ag operations are gone, and we couldn’t just sit and watch this precious water be thrown away.”…

Discuss Molokai Water Use and Demand

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Townscape News Release

Learn about Preliminary Water Use and Demand for Molokai’s water systems. At two meetings open to Molokai residents, we will be presenting water use information for public and private water systems on the island, our methodology for projecting future water demand, and sharing our preliminary water demand projections. The Molokai Water Use and Development Plan is being updated by a collaboration between Townscape, Inc., an environmental and community planning company, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply, Water Resources and Planning Division.

We will offer this presentation at two different meeting times. Our presentation will be the same at each meeting, and open discussion time will follow the presentation.…