Public hearings set for Na Wai Eha water withdrawal applications

PAIA – The state Commission on Water Resource Management will hold two days of hearings starting Wednesday on competing applications for withdrawal of water from Na Wai Eha, the surface water collection system that serves Central and South Maui.

During earlier proceedings, the commission received applications from existing users to continue withdrawing water pending a final commission decision on allocating the water resource. Most of the applications have been challenged because there likely will be less water allocated by the commission than the total of present withdrawals, even before applications for new uses are considered.

Starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Paia Community Center, the commission will hear testimony from users to justify the reasonable and beneficial uses they intend for water.

The commission staff will present a new map, which graphically represents the users’ locations and the ditches and gates where they seek to draw off the water. Commission staff member Roy Hardy said the map should help sort out exactly which applications are in conflict.

Two commissioners, Neal Fujiwara and Sumner Erdman, will conduct the hearings.

The session will break for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. Wednesday. It will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday, break for lunch at 11:30 a.m., continue at 12:30 p.m. and conclude by 5 p.m.

Materials related to the applications can be found at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/nawaiehaswma.htm, and also will be available at the hearings.

Following the conclusion of testimony, the commission staff will make recommendations to the commission, which will act on a date not yet set.

Anyone may testify on any of the more than 100 withdrawal applications. People with a legal interest who may be adversely affected by an application request may ask for an administration contested case, but the request must be made by the close of the public hearing.

Public
hearings set for Na Wai Eha water withdrawal applications –
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