Meeting opportunity to address water bill

The Maui County Council’s Water Resources Committee will hold a night meeting Monday to air public questions and concerns about a bill that would allow the director of the Department of Water Supply, with the consent of the mayor, to impose higher water rates and other water-saving measures during dry spells.

The 6:30 p.m. meeting is the result of a pledge by committee Chairman Mike Victorino to thoroughly scrutinize the measure publicly.

“This is an opportunity for members of the community to express their concerns about the water shortage bill,” Victorino said in an announcement. “We want the public’s input on this important matter before we make a final decision.

“We want to protect the interests of our residents,” he said, “but we also need to ensure an adequate supply of water during water shortage emergencies.”

The meeting will be held in Council Chambers on the eighth floor of the Kalana O Maui building.

The bill’s provisions for water shortages could include drought, mechanical failure, human error or natural disasters. The measure also establishes two stages of water-shortage severity that would trigger increased rates – with the goal of decreasing water consumption.

The rate structure would be addressed by the council during its budget deliberations.