HILO, Hawaii – Only one person spoke at a hearing on the new state water projects plan in Hilo on Tuesday evening (Jan. 17).
Several island residents – mostly students – filled the Waiakea High School cafeteria for the meeting held by the Hawaii State Commission on Water Resource Management, or CWRM.
CWRM is introducing to the public an update to the State Water Projects Plan that identifies future water demands and source strategies for Hawaii. The update of the plan focuses on water projects for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
After a 20 minute long PowerPoint presentation, only one person came forward to deliver public testimony. Sierra club member Cory Harden shared her thoughts on the plan.
The plan will help the state meet its legal obligations to Hawaiian Home Lands, Harden said.
Harden supported the plan’s identification of lands for growing taro, and consideration of conservation measures to make water go further.
Harden reminded the commission that water for firefighting should be a consideration, and said that in some areas the water pressure is not strong enough to enable firefighting.
Harden also said she thinks there should be support for people that build and maintain safe water catchment systems.
Harden also wondered of the plan will address controversies like stream diversions, and the petition to designate the Keauhou Aquifer a Ground Water Management Area.
Harden also mentioned recent finds at Pohakuloa.
“You’re probably aware that the water drilling up in the Humu’ula saddle region found water surprisingly shallow, only 500 feet down,” Harden said, “so I hope that’s considered in this plan.”