‘IAO, MAUI — On Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 at 9 a.m., Wailuku Water Company will begin releasing 10 million gallons of water per day into ‘Iao Stream pursuant to the April 2014 Settlement Agreement in the Na Wai ‘Eha Contested Case. The Agreement involved Hui o Na Wai ‘Eha, Maui Tomorrow Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Wailuku Water Company, the Maui County Department of Water Supply, and the State Commission on Water Resource Management.
“For the first time in more than a century, there will be a continuous flow of water from mauka to makai in the ‘Iao Stream, providing great potential to restore native fauna habitat. We will work closely with our Division of Aquatic Resources to monitor how this increased flow affects aquatic life in the stream,” said William J. Aila, Jr., Chairperson of the State Commission on Water Resource Management.
The Agreement establishes new interim instream flow standards (the minimum required flow) of 10 million gallons per day (mgd) for ‘Iao Stream near Kepaniwai Park, 5.0 mgd for ‘Iao Stream at or near the stream mouth, and 2.9 mgd for Waikapu Stream (below the South Waikapu Ditch diversion). The Agreement also maintains the previous restorations of 10 mgd for Waihe’e River, 1.6 mgd for North Waiehu Stream, and 0.9 mgd for the South Waiehu Streams.
“Wailuku Water Company supports the instream flow standards for the Na Wai ‘Eha Streams agreed to by the parties and adopted by the Commission. These standards are flexible enough to address the variability in stream flows
that naturally exist. We look forward to working with the Commission to make this a success story,” said Avery Chumbley, President of Wailuku Water Company.
Due to safety concerns, access to the area will be limited during the releases. People should be aware of rising water levels on ‘Îao Stream throughout the day. Commission staff will accompany representatives from Wailuku Water Company to measure and document the releases. Some users receiving stream water from ditch systems may experience reduced ditch flows as a result of the releases.
The Commission plans to video the releases. Field reports documenting compliance with the Agreement will be posted on the Commission website.