East Maui water is the subject of a roundtable
The Sierra Club Maui Chapter is hosting a roundtable to discuss ways to restore water to the East Maui community.
Maui County’s Government Relations, Ethics and Transparency (GREAT) Committee is currently considering a resolution for a charter amendment to establish an East Maui Community Water Authority.
Organizers of the event say that if approved by the committee and then by the county council, it could appear on the general election ballot for Maui County residents to vote in November.
The resolution was introduced by East Maui Council Member Shane Sinenci to provide clarity and flexibility, and to incorporate feedback from the community and the Legal Advisory Department.
If established, the East Maui Community Water Authority and Community Board would: (1) pursue the feasibility of acquiring the long-term water lease agreements for the Nāhiku, Ke’anae, Honomanū, and Huelo and enter into an intergovernmental agreement to provide a reliable long-term water supply for domestic and agricultural needs; and (2) manage water resources in a competent, fiscally responsible, and transparent manner, as required by the Hawaii State Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine.
The resolution comes as the Land and Natural Resources Board moves forward with the process of issuing long-term water leases. Currently, the only candidate for East Maui water leases is Alexander & Baldwin/East Maui Irrigation. The Sierra Club reports the creation of an East Maui Community Water Authority, saying it provides an alternative choice.
Roundtable panelists include: Luʻukia Nakanelua, Esq., Post JD-Law Fellow, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law; East Maui Council Member Shane Sinenci; and Jonathan Scheuer, Ph.D., Natural Resource Conflict Consultant, Water Policy Expert, Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
The roundtable takes place Monday, June 13 from 6:30-8 p.m. and can be viewed live on the Sierra Club Maui Facebook page.
Organizers say the discussion gives the public an opportunity to learn more about the possibility of “restoring community control over East Maui’s water resources.”