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OPEN LETTER Regarding Upcoming Launiupoko Irrigation Water Restrictions 2018

Posted by Eric and Lisa West on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 2:41pm.

Launiupoko Irrigation Water Update 

 

And just like that. Without notice, or warning. The recent events regarding Launiupoko irrigation water restrictions have been nothing short of shocking. Details regarding this development are limited, but I wanted to share what I have so far. No question that this could impact the market and the due diligence required when considering purchasing or selling a home or land in Launiupoko. 

Mahanalua Nui Association had a very productive Annual meeting Thursday night. If you were not there I wanted to give everyone a few key points before too much time passes. Even though this is not an official channel for communications with owners, we realize many read it: As most know, the DLNR’s Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM), made an unprecedented decision and order to force our non-potable water company, Launiupoko Irrigation Company, (LIC) to begin releasing very large amounts of water back into the streams that have been filling our irrigation reservoirs for decades. The effect is about an 80% reduction in the irrigation water supply that supplies our association and four others in the area. This order is giving us virtually no time to make alternate arrangements. LIC principals were present at the meeting and gave very helpful explanations of how this occurred, how fast it occurred (essentially overnight), the overlapping and often contradictory regulations of several governing agencies, and the various options being studied by the water company. The Mahanalua Nui Board is working hand-in-hand with LIC, and is diligently trying to gain the cooperation of the other four Launiupoko associations in developing a plan to continue irrigation water service to Launiupoko and to ensure a long-term supply far into the future. The Association Board is working virtually day and night to finish its part of the plan, so it’s a little premature to be specific about the plan, however, it will include immediate water conservation measures by ALL owners, a redeployment (curtailment) of water to the common areas, probable legal action in coordination with all affected associations, and helping to develop alternate sources of non-potable water in partnership with LIC. The Board will be pushing out comprehensive communication to all owners this week via mail and an email blast. Please be on the lookout for these, and when you receive them, give them your full attention and respond immediately. We will be asking you to do everything you can to conserve water, and to write letters to personally object to this unilateral action, which was taken with no due process. We all MUST pull together to solve this water crisis. Please also visit our website at www.mlnhoa.com for updates as they become available. Mahalo Nui Loa, Steve Iverson President Mahanalua Nui HOA

Honorable Senator Baker, 

My wife and I are recent homeowners in the Launiupoko area, and are extremely concerned about the precipitous drop in non-potable water available for agricultural use in our neighborhood.  We're not sure how aware you are of the recent decision by the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) concerning priority of use of the water from the Ukumehame, Olowalu, Launiupoko, and Kaua'ula streams, but there is an immediate reduction of 80% in the non-potable water previously available to residents in the area.  There was zero warning to any of the affected parties about this drastic and immediate decision - no person that we have spoken to was even aware that such a decision was under consideration.

We are not writing to you in any attempt to de-legitimize other parties claims to this water, but merely literally begging for some intercession on the part of our elected officials to allow a reasonable amount of time for these restrictions to take effect - time that may be profitably spent adapting to the conditions.  The problem is that the various local water management companies are simply not able to convert the farms in the area over to potable water overnight, and business and local farm owners will be devastated by loss of crops  and livestock.  Certainly water conservation practices need to be deployed, and the option of drawing from aquifers needs to be properly explored, but those potential mitigations are simply not possible to fully implement when no notice has been given.  For that reason, it seems utterly incomprehensible that CWRM provided no warning of this decision, or else put into effect some reasonable timetable to phase these changes in.  I'm having a very hard time understanding how that can possibly represent the decision of a responsible government!

We are desperate for some help brokering a reasonable accommodation as good faith efforts are made on our part to adapt to this dramatic change in water availability.  We know that the Launiupoko Irrigation Company has proposed some grace period, but to our knowledge there has not been any flexibility on the matter.  Our own letter to CWRM several weeks ago has not been acknowledged by that commission.  Our own orchard and those agricultural efforts of our friends and neighbors will be in jeopardy once the rainy season has passed.

Sincerely, Launiupoko Neighbior

Please forward any emails you have with info about this action taken against us to our representatives. Thanks, Eric 

Office 808 586 6070 senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

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