Maui Tomorrow’s hypocrisy over water is on display

The sheer sophistry of Maui Tomorrow’s recent “we support agriculture” statement demands a response (The Maui News, May 8). They basically said they “support” an agricultural future for Central Maui, but just not with East Maui water.

The statement quoted Mahi Pono as saying they have enough water to sustain the 9,000 acres Mahi Pono plans to plant by 2020. Mahi Pono is the agricultural group that is trying to replace the former 36,000-acre HC&S sugar plantation. But Mahi Pono actually bought and plans to farm 41,000 acres. Where is the water for those other 32,000 acres coming from if not from the East Maui Irrigation System?

The HC&S plantation would not have existed without the waters it received from EMI. How would Mahi Pono?

Maui Tomorrow says if Mahi Pono wants to use East Maui water, they should comply with the state’s water leasing requirements. But those do not exist yet, and once they do, any attempt to use them will be undoubtedly challenged in state court by Maui Tomorrow and or its allies. (See Mauna Kea.)

This message — “go ahead and farm, but we will fight you tooth and nail over the water you will need to make that happen”— has been coming out of Maui Tomorrow and its allies for years. It has greatly amused me that folks who call themselves “environmentalists” cannot get the basics: You can not farm without water.

Dave DeLeon



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