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Haiku association to discuss water plan Thursday

Council to take up proposal Oct. 9

The Maui News

A meeting to discuss the proposed Maui Water Use and Development Plan will be hosted by the Ha’iku Community Association in a virtual town hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Haiku Community Association Vice Chairwoman Lezley Jacintho said that the association has received a lot of community feedback on the proposed plan. “Haiku-Paia residents feel in the dark about what solutions to local water issues” are contained in the water plan, she said.

“Hai’ku residents have no access to new water meters and our streams have been diverted for 100 years, yet we really haven’t had a community discussion with the water department about the idea of future Haiku wells that would send water to Central and South Maui,” Jacintho said.

Officials with the county Department of Water Supply will be on hand.

Questions may be submitted beforehand by email to haikucommunitypm@gmail.com, the chat option on Zoom or the association Facebook page during the town hall. The Zoom meeting is capped at the first 100 people who register at us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IeNb-y83RjaQvjvA9D5GTg.

In a related development, Council Member Yuki Lei Sugimura is requesting a public hearing to be held along with first reading of the Maui Island Water Use and Development Plan on Oct. 9. A public hearing designation would allow for more extensive notification of the Oct. 9 council meeting than usual, including through newspaper advertising, Sugimura said.

“The updated Water Use and Development Plan for Maui will provide a 20-year, resource-focused blueprint for the management and use of the island’s precious water resources,” Sugimura said. “This update has undergone extensive review to reach this point, but it’s important to take all possible steps to ensure everyone has a chance to weigh in before the council votes.”

State and county law requires each county to prepare and periodically update water use and development plans as components of the State of Water Plan, Sugimura said. Hearing and consultations on the plan began in 2015.

The water board held public hearings in Hana, Kihei, Lahaina, Pukalani and Wailuku in November and December 2018, she said. The water department submitted the plan to the council on March 22, 2019.

Sugimura said the plan has evolved through review and input from community outreach and policy meetings to collect feedback and evaluate scrutiny. The committee she chairs, the council Water, Infrastructure and Transportation, voted unanimously on Aug. 4 to recommend adoption of the proposed plan by the full council.

After approval by the council by ordinance, the plan will be sent to the State Commission on Water Resource Management for final approval.

A copy of the bill to approve the plan is available on the committee’s website at MauiCounty.us.

The council meeting and public hearing agendas will be published Oct. 2. Testimony will be accepted by email and live video conference or phone call.

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