Commentary: Water Resource Protection Plan Meetings Tonight in Kona, Monday in Hilo

If you care about your water – you may want to attend…..


KONA: March 24 – West Hawaii Civic Center, Rm. next to the ‘rotunda’ 6:30pm

HILO: March 30 – Aupuni Center – 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 1 6:30pm

Additional information can be found at:…/planning/hiwaterplan/wrpp/wrpp2014/

via Janice Palma-Glennie

The outcome of these meetings will affect everyone in Hawai`i.

In Kona, there is huge future demand for water. Nothing in the existing Water Resources Protection Plan (WRPP) — the topic of the meetings — directly mentions or protects the ecological and cultural significance of our near shore natural and cultural resources.

The WRPP is one part of the “Hawai`i Water Plan” that was established by the State Water Code. It was created as part of the code with the idea that careful planning would allow the Water Commission, as Trustees of the Public Trust in Water, to first ensure that water was protected, while allowing careful and proper development of water for economic use.

This code/plan is supposed to be updated every five years. The last time the WRPP was updated was in 2008.

The Water Resources Protection Plan (WRPP) is the keystone of the “Hawai`i Water Plan”. It is where the commission sets sustainable yields for groundwater; where it is supposed to establish policies for the protection of Public Trust uses of water, including leaving water in its natural state for recreational uses and the perpetuation of the Traditional and Customary Practices of Native Hawaiians. All the other parts of the plan are supposed to rely on the WRPP for guidance. These parts include the Agricultural Water Use and Development Plan (the plan for water needs for agriculture), the Water Quality Protection Plan (to protect water quality statewide), the State Water Projects Plan (providing water for state facilities like schools, airports, DHHL), and the all important County Water Use and Development Plans (where the Counties plan out how they will develop water for future growth while protecting public trust uses of water).

If an important use of water is not listed and protected in the Water Resources Protection Plan, the other plans will not mention nor protect it.

The Water Commission staff will be asking people to bring up their “one issue” that they are concerned about, and then break into small groups to discuss items. Based on the feedback from these meetings, they will be preparing a draft document. Now is a great time to speak up for our public trust interests in water.

Potential talking points:

Describe how you use or enjoy resources up and down the coast (e.g. coral reefs and fish that are adapted to fresh water flows, swimming / surfing in clean water, etc).
Talk about your concern for the future of the resources and the community that depends on them.

Mention that the calculation of sustainable yield has no scientific basis for determining how much and where water should continue to flow from mauka to makai.

Tell them their plans need to have proactive tasks to implement: the days should be long gone when the Water Commission can just sit back, waiting for a complaint from the community or when a problem has reached a crisis point .

Mahalo and hope to see you there,
Janice Palma-Glennie

Moku Loa Group -Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation Big Island Hawai`i Chapter – Kona Kai Ea, Surfrider Hilo Chapter, Surfrider Foundation Hilo Chapter

1 reply
  1. k-townsurfaboi-n
    k-townsurfaboi-n says:

    I would be very careful about the blanket statement from Janice P.-G.: “Nothing in the existing Water Resources Protection Plan (WRPP…directly mentions or protects the ecological and cultural significance of our near shore natural and cultural resources”. What I question is her use of the word “Nothing…” nothing, really?? nothing at all?? this sounds alarmist and sensationalist…a gross overreach of inaccuracy. from my understanding, the sustainable yield is a part of the entire aquifer. and this portion is for public/human consumption. I sat in Roy Hardy’s presentation that showed over half of the Keauhou aquifer continues to flow to the ocean beyond the sustainable yield. everyday. all day. for the environment and culture…of which I partake of as a true Hawaiian cultural practitioner. please Janice, no talk for me and my cultural uses of water. Niele, maha’oi…dis kine!

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