Lets work with Mahi Pono to allocate water for ag

I am writing to share my thoughts and feelings regarding returning all of the water to the streams versus allowing Mahi Pono, which bought 41,000 acres of A&B agriculture land, including 36,000 of old sugar cane fields, to continue taking the water from the EMI diversion system for non-GMO diversified agriculture.

First, in the late 1960s I lived on Honopou Stream and am familiar with the stream flow and the taro. Yes, I have pulled kalo in the lohi. I do think a moderate percentage of the water could not be diverted, rather than a bigger percentage not diverted. I don’t think it would be needed for the taro farming.

The non-GMO diversified agriculture which Mahi Pono would produce would take less water than sugar cane. Therefore, not as much stream diversion would be required. Also, these agricultural endeavors would support food and energy self-sufficiency, preserve productive agricultural lands, and create hundreds of jobs for our local economy.

Without this diverted stream water there could be no agriculture. Without this agriculture, Central Maui would become a dried up weed patch, creating no agriculture or jobs. This is not pono.

As a community, let us work with Mahi Pono to use just what water is needed to keep Maui green and beautiful, creating more food and energy for our people. Former Maui state Sen. Shan Tsutsui is a Mahi Pono adviser. I have faith in him seeing that Mahi Pono “Does What Is Right” for Maui.

Harlan Hughes