Mike Victorino risks Maui water supply

Mike Victorino worked for the developers who fund him when he introduced two bills to repeal the Show Me the Water Bill in 2011 and 2015. Show Me the Water requires developers to verify “a long term, reliable supply of water” before subdivision approval. Affordable housing is exempt.

Tamara Paltin testified in 2015: “If it’s repealed then all the thousands of units that are already entitled will jump to the head of the line in front of the affordable housing.” Luxury developments like the Makena development Victorino championed are water intensive. They risk water for existing homeowners, renters, affordable housing projects, and water meter wait lists.

When Show Me the Water passed, the water department described the county’s water situation as dire. The USGS found serious impairment to the aquifers that supply 60 to 70 percent of the potable water on Maui. Water department figures showed all county water systems operating at or over capacity.

Increased rainfall only delays the water crisis we are over-developing Maui into. Global climate change is characterized by floods followed by steeper droughts when they come.

USAID predicts by 2025 two thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed conditions. Do we want a mayor who will make Maui part of that statistic?

Pro-development candidates like Victorino say what people want to hear. This is dangerous. Some quote dated, optimistic sustainable yield figures that include East Maui and don’t account for prohibitive cost and poor accessibility.

Chandrika McLaughlin