Molokai Ranch Seeks Crucial Water Permits
Water is the key to life and has always been a key issue on Molokai. Currently in the spotlight, Molokai Properties Limited (MPL) is attempting to legalize access to state-owned water lines in central Molokai. Although it’s current agreement to use the water lines was deemed null in Sept. 2007, MPL continues to rent Molokai Irrigation System (MIS) pipes at $11,375 per month, transporting water from central Molokai to users on arid west side of the island. MPL’s subsidiary water company, Kaluakoi Water LLC (KWL), needs the go-ahead in order to connect the company’s source well in Kualapu`u, to its users in Maunaloa, west Molokai. MPL has been using the MIS for transmission of its water since the 1975. Because MPL uses state property to conduct its operations, state law requires an environmental assessment (EA). A Matter of Culture In order to satisfy a major requirement of the study, MPL CEO Peter Nicholas was on-island last week to discuss possible cultural impacts associated with use of the irrigation system. Approximately 100 residents participated in meetings held in Maunaloa and Kualapu`u at the invitation of Nicholas and Environet, the company contracted to implement the EA. The MPL rental agreement represents a large stake for the state. With rental proceeds amounting to $136,500 in 2010, MPL is the Department of Agriculture’s (DOA)biggest customer, making the MIS the only profitable state-owned irrigation system in Hawaii, according to state records. MPL is also the only non-agricultural customer using the MIS. From A to B
make it clean again,” said Glenn Teves, homesteader and Ag expert for the University of Hawaii-Manoa. The draft EA could be completed by the end of the year, according to Nicholas. If the draft EA is accepted by the DOA, MPL can renew their six-year lease and continue to use MIS lines legally.