Consultants to talk about Agricultural Water System
Consultants hired to look into the possibility of an independent agricultural water system for Kohala have scheduled a public meeting to talk about the study now underway on Wednesday August 16, at 5:30 in the HUB Barn. The State Water Resources Commission has hired Kohala resident John Richards of Waimea Water Services to conduct the study. The meeting will be facilitated by Christin Reynolds of One World, One Water and is aimed at bringing the community up to speed on the work being done.
The idea of integrating un-used water sources and the Kohala Ditch into a water system available to farmers was the topic of several meetings conducted by the Parks, Water, Roads Subcommittee of the Community Development Plan Action Committee last winter. Those discussions came on the heels of news that State Sen. Lorraine Inouye had budgeted $1.5 million to study Kohala’s ag water needs. Gov. David Ige released the funds to the Water Commission in June.
Carty Chang, chief engineer of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said part of the allocation will be used to fund the study by Waimea Water Services.
Richards said his company has been asked to identify all the possible sources of water; to review the existing distribution lines to see what can be done to upgrade them; to see what is going on in agriculture now and what is expected in the future, and to come up with recommendations about the water needs and whether improvements are affordable.
“There are many funding resources for rural agriculture water,” Richards noted. “But it will depend entirely on how much it will cost to make the water available.”
The Parks, Water, Roads subcommittee has been meeting with the committee working on the reorganization of the Kohala Ditch administration and with farmers’ groups and independent farmers. The subcommittee has over 40 interested people on an email network providing information as it becomes available regarding the study. To get on the list, or to get a full report of the two open meetings, write to firstname.lastname@example.org