Flows Restored To Waimea River And “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”

Waimea River and Canyon. Honolulu, HI — Today, the State of Hawaiʻi’s Commission on Water Resource Management approved a historic agreement that resolves a complaint Earthjustice filed in July 2013 on behalf of community group Pōʻai Wai Ola/West Kauaʻi Watershed Alliance to protect the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and restore stream flows to the Waimea River on Kauaʻi Island.

Waimea River is located on Kauaʻi Island. The agreement concludes a year-long mediation involving Pōʻai Wai Ola, the state-run Agribusiness Development Corporation, the Kekaha Agriculture Association, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. Under the agreement, tens of millions of gallons of water each day will be restored to the Waimea River and its headwaters, and no diversion will ever be a total diversion again. ai Wai Ola members standing in lower reach of Waimea River.

“Our group’s name acknowledges the life-giving power of water,” explained Pōʻai Wai Ola president Galen Kaohi. “Today’s agreement ensures that, for the first time in over 100 years, life-giving water will once again flow continuously in Waimea River from mauka (the mountains) to makai (the sea), which is vital for the health of the river and our community.” […]

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