Maui News

WATER PERMIT DEADLINE SET FOR NA WAI EHA

April 2, 2009, 11:19 AM HST
* Updated April 2, 11:29 AM
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The Commission on Water Resource Management has set an April 30th deadline to apply for permits in order to continue use of surface water at Na Wai ‘Eha.

The Na Wai Eha Surface Management Areas include the Waihe’e, Waiehu, Iao and Waikapu Streams in central Maui.  If existing users fail to apply by the April 30, 2009, deadline, they will be required to apply for a surface water use permit as a new user and will be subject to the availability of surface water as determined by existing surface water use permits and the amount of water flowing in the streams (interim instream flow standards for Na Wai ‘Eha).

This grate above the Kepaniwai Heritage Park is a source of contention as the Commission on Water Resource Management tries to determine the current use of old sugar company diversions. Photo by Wendy OSHER © 2009

This grate above the Kepaniwai Heritage Park is a source of contention as the Commission on Water Resource Management tries to determine the current use of old sugar company diversions. Photo by Wendy OSHER © 2009

The Commission designated Na Wai ‘Eha in the Wailuku District of Maui, as Surface Water Management Areas, because serious disputes over the use of surface water resources in Na Wai ‘Eha.  The designation was made on March 13, 2008, after research and investigations, consultation with county officials, and public hearings and public notices on the matter in 2007.

Under the designation, no one can withdraw, divert, impound, or use surface water in a water management area without first obtaining a water use permit from the Commission.  The Commission does not require water use permits for domestic consumption by individual users, users on Maui Department of Water Supply system, and users of rain catchment systems.

A sign at Iao Valley State Park points to the significance of Na Wai 'Eha and the streams that sustained the life below.  Photo by Wendy OSHER © 2009.

A sign at Iao Valley State Park points to the significance of Na Wai 'Eha and the streams that sustained the life below. Photo by Wendy OSHER © 2009.

On June 19, 2008, the Commission mailed the first notice to existing surface water users who had declared their uses and/or registered their stream diversions with the Commission and to users who obtained stream diversion work permits from the Commission, to apply for water use permits to continue their existing uses.  On March 5, 2009, the Commission mailed a second notice to existing users to apply for the water use permit by the April 30, 2009, deadline.

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“The Commission strongly recommends that all existing surface water users apply for a surface water use permit before the April 30th deadline if they wish to continue their surface water uses. Failure to apply by the April 30th deadline creates an assumption of abandonment of the surface water use.  In order to revive the use, the user must apply for a permit as a proposed new use,” said Ken Kawahara, Water Commission deputy director.

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Applications for surface water use permits are available at the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Commission on Water Resource Management, Kalanimoku Building, Room 227, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, or may be downloaded from the Commission’s website at: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/resources_permits.htm.

Members of the Water Resource Commission held several meetings on Maui last year in which it was decided to designate Na Wai 'Eha as a Surface Water Management Area.  Photo by Wendy OSHER © 2009

Members of the Water Resource Commission held several meetings on Maui last year in which it was decided to designate Na Wai 'Eha as a Surface Water Management Area. Photo by Wendy OSHER © 2009

For information on surface water use permit applications, call the Commission’s Stream Protection and Management Branch at (808) 587-0234, or toll-free from Maui at 984-2400 extension 70234.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009; Photos by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

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