Maui Group Chair, Daniel Grantham, testified at a recent public meeting on the East Maui Water Development Plan. The County’s Plan proposes 8 wells along the Kauhikoa Ditch in Ha`iku and a 36″ pipeline to transport 10-15 mgd of water to Central and South Maui. Maui Group members attended and expressed their concerns: declining rainfall aver-ages in East Maui, lack of solid data on minimum stream flows, effects of well pumping on streams, exploitation of East Maui water for South Maui over development and lack of sufficient funding for ongoing watershed restoration and management. The County is under court order (after a 1993 challenge by East Maui citizens) to produce a more accurate Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the East Maui well project. A revised EIS on the plan is expected out in June. Members are invited to learn more about East Maui watersheds during upcoming Water Hike series, July thru September.
East Maui Water Development Plan (Ha`iku Wells)
SOME QUICK FACTS
PROJECT CONSTRUCTION COST: $48 million for 8 wells & 16 miles of 36″ transmission pipelines
WHO PAYS: County Water Dept rate payers (or public funding will be asked from state or federal funds.)
12/18/05 bills for well pumping will amount to millions (the County Board of Water supply currently spends $5 million year to pump fresh water from the 20 wells and numerous booster pump station systems it has island wide.)
WHERE DOES WATER GO: Water Dept proposes to pump 10mgd (million gal day) of Ha’iku ground water and send it to Central and South Maui
WHY: County Water Department is pressured by big corporate landowners to deliver millions of gallons of water to allow development of thousands of acres of ag land in Spreckelsville, Ma’alaea, Wailea, Makena, the Waikapu hills etc.
IMPACTS BEYOND HA`IKU: original County well plan from 1970’s called for wells all the way to Nahiku. Once transmission line gets to Ulumalu- Huelo & Honopou areas will be eyed next to send their water South. Local well owners near coast will be at “thin end of the lens.” Stream users could see impacts.
ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCES: 50 mgd flows in Wailuku Ag ditches in central Maui in close proximity to existing pipelines. A 1.5 mgd capacity water treatment plant sits idle in the same area. Wailuku Ag has no current ag operation and sells the water to HC&S. The county is in negotiations to purchase Wailuku Ag watershed lands for $28 million. Wailuku Ag is asking $100 million….