Water Commission Seeks Community Input

Water Resource Protection Plan in public review phase

By Jennifer Smith

In an attempt to hear public testimony on their draft Water Resource Protection Plan (WRPP), the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) visited Molokai Tuesday night.

WRPP is part of the Hawaii Water Plan that, according to the state, “provides the overall guidance and direction for managing Hawaii’s water resources.”

CWRM created the WRPP in 1990 and submitted an updated draft for public review in October 2007. The commission is asking community members to provide input on the draft update in order to identify any issues of concern, as well as possible areas in need of expansion.

“Specific information is extremely helpful to us and is appreciated,” said Tiffany Mathias a consultant from the Wilson Okamoto Corporation that is working with CWRM on the WRPP.

The document deals primarily with quantities and locations of water, with a focus on sustainable resource development. Other components include the monitoring and protection of ground and surface water resources, watersheds, and natural stream environments.

Referred to as a “living document,” the WRPP will be updated at least once every five years and will guide water management decisions.

All other water plans created on the state or county levels must comply with the WRPP.

The document is available online at http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/ and at the Molokai Public Library.

CWRM will continue to accept written comments on the draft plan until January 11, 2008.

If comments result in significant changes to the draft WRPP, another round of public hearings will be held. However, if no major changes are made the seven-member Commission on Water Resource Management will review and decide whether or not to adopt the updated document.

Comments can be mailed to: Commission on Water Resource Management, Department of Land and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 621, Honolulu, Hawaii 96809.


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