Maui begins process to update 20-year water plan
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Maui is working to update its 20-year plan that guides the management and use of water across the island.
Public hearings begin this week on the new draft of the water use and development plan, which Maui County last adopted in 1990, The Maui News reported .
The island has about 833 million gallons (3.2 billion liters) per day of surface water, groundwater and untapped groundwater, according to the draft. About 500 million gallons (1.9 billion liters) per day is used on average, with the majority of use in agriculture.
The plan states that the island has enough water to meet current and projected uses for the next 20 years, but water resources “are not always located in the area where they are needed.”
Most water uses on the island are supplied by groundwater wells, but most agriculture uses are supplied by streams.
Groundwater’s total sustainable yield is 427 million gallons (1.6 billion liters) per day, which is divided among the island’s six aquifer sectors. Sustainable yield is the amount of water that can be extracted from the aquifer without depleting it.
The island’s largest population center is in the Central Maui aquifer, which has the lowest sustainable yield of 26 million gallons per day. The public water supply for this sector that covers Kahului, Paia and South Maui mostly comes from elsewhere on the island.
Following the public hearing process, the plan will need to be approved by the Maui County Council and the state Commission on Water Resource Management.
Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com