Court rebuffs Waiahole water challenges

The state appeals court has rejected two of three challenges by Windward farmers and environmentalists who want a state commission to direct more water to flow from the Waiahole Ditch to Windward streams.

In an unanimous decision, the Intermediate Court of Appeals upheld most of the 2006 decision by the Commission on Water Resource Management, which divided the ditch system’s 27 millions of gallons of water a day in roughly equal amounts to Central Oahu and the Windward watershed.

The court rejected challenges by Hakipuu Ohana, Ka Lahui Hawaii and Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, which wanted the court to overturn the commission’s allotment of 4 million gallons a day to Campbell Estate and to increase the water flow to Windward streams and stream-side taro farms.

The court agreed with the challengers on one point in ordering the commission to reconsider granting 750,000 gallons a day to Puu Makakilo Inc. for a golf course.