The Department of Water Supply "found" added capacity of water in the Upcountry system that could be used to eliminate in two to three years the waiting list for water meters going back to 1994 (The Maui News, Sept. 19).
The obvious question is: Where was the water hiding? Two million gallons per day is a lot of water.
The article indicated that part of the water will be coming from diverting more water from the streams. What happens to the farmers downstream? Taro and flower farmers use a lot of water - drought or not the farmers' use of water cannot be cut. The other source of the water is shrinking the buffer. The article did not state how much of a shrinkage is proposed.
Interestingly, previous water department heads used wells at Hamakuapoko and Pookela as backup in times of drought. Does this mean that the well water will become part of the capacity that is used daily?
Clearly, this is a stopgap measure designed to ease the public pressure of the long waiting list for water meters. What we need is a long-term plan on water resources and Upcountry development. Let's hope any near-term fix will not negatively affect the current water users and any current development plans for Upcountry Maui.