Comment on Water Use and Development Plan from Jeffrey Parker

To:
Maui County Board of Water Supply                                                                       8-17-20
Chair Shay Chan Hodges

From:
Jeffrey Parker
Director
Coalition To Protect East Maui Water Resources
P.O. Box 170
Haiku, HI 96708
808 572-8569

Subject: Water Use and Development Plan
August 20, 2020 Public Meeting

Dear Chair Hodges and Members,

As Director of the Coalition To Protect East Maui Water Resources – one of the “Consent Decree Parties”, I am writing to express our concern that the BWS may not be aware of all conditions of the Consent Decree and our settlement with the County.  Specifically how the CD relates to the portion of the WUDP dealing with the proposed Haiku well field  (now said to be in the “Koolau Aquifer Sector”)   Those conditions, which we all agreed to, are not fully satisfied in the current version of the WUDP.  We believe that BWS should recommend that the WUDP not be accepted until all pertinent conditions of the Consent Decree are satisfied.

  1. From Chapter 14 of the current Draft WUDP: “Since 2003 there have been multiple assessments and cost-benefit studies conducted to explore groundwater development outside the Consent Decree area in the Haiku Aquifer …….”

From the Consent Decree:  4.2 Before any new project is planned by the County of Maui to develop groundwater in the agreed- upon portion of the East Maui Region, the County will undertake a Cost/Benefit Study of the surface and groundwater resources available in the Central Maui Region, Upcountry Maui Region and East Maui Region and conduct a rigorous Cost/Benefit analysis, including the evaluation of economic and environmental factors, of developing and transmitting these water resources. This Study shall address planning for stream restoration in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

None of the 3 studies mentioned in Chapter 14 of the WUDP comply with the agreements in the Consent Decree.  None of the 3 compare all the geographical regions listed in the CD. Likewise, none of them look at environmental impacts.  The Draft WUDP does not indicate that 16 Haiku deep wells will be part of any comprehensive study.

  1. From Consent Decree: Stream Restoration.10.1 The County agrees that as long term agricultural water needs are reduced, a stream restoration program will be studied, developed and initiated by the County. As such, the County agrees that one component of any plan or program to develop further water resources in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region must include the study, development and initiation, as may be applicable, of a stream restoration program in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

We think there has been ample time for the County to begin studying and developing a stream restoration program for streams in the Haiku aquifer area. None of these streams was part of the East Maui Water commission decision that is often referred to in the Draft WUDP.  These are cherished Haiku streams like East and West Kuiaha, Awalau and others. There is no reason for the DWS to postpone this important effort until the “Koolau Well Plan” is far along, and drilling of the wells is ready to commence.  A valid WUDP will detail the progress being made by the County on a stream restoration program.

  1. From the CD: Use of Data From Pumping of Two Hamakuapoko Wells  9.1 Actual data obtained from the pumping of the two Hamakuapoko Wells shall be employed  preparing the Cost/Benefit analysis referenced above and in deciding whether to begin planning any further project to develop groundwater resources in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

To my knowledge, ongoing study of pumping of the two Hamakuapoko Wells did not happen.  The language of the CD is clear:  this data must be used in “deciding whether to begin planning any further project”.  In our view, there has been plenty of time for the County to gather this data for use in a new WUDP. Monitoring data from these is not included in the WUDP, that we could find.

  1. The WUDP clearly anticipates the removal of Haiku water and sending it to Central and

South Maui to “meet planned growth”.  Yet the residents of Haiku have never been consulted.  No public meetings have been held with Haiku residents during the preparation this WUDP.  A public meeting zoom conference should be held, through the auspices of the Haiku Community Association, or other local organization.  Additionally, to my knowledge the Consent Decree Parties also have not been consulted.

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.

Aloha
Jeffrey Parker

 

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