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State roundup for March 4

Water panel seat to be filled

HONOLULU (AP) — The nominating committee for the state water commission is meeting this week to review applications to fill a vacant seat.

The committee will send a list of at least three qualified people to the governor. The governor will nominate one person from the list to fill the position. The Senate will vote on the nomination.

The selected individual will serve a four-year term beginning July. The committee will meet at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Kalanimoku State Office building in Honolulu.

The water commission has jurisdiction over land-based surface water and ground water.

Seven people sit on the commission, five of whom are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The heads of the state departments of health and land and natural resources fill the other two seats.

Well proposed on West Maui

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — Maui County is proposing to drill an exploratory groundwater well in West Maui to develop a potential new water source to meet future demand in rapidly growing Lahaina and nearby areas.

The well would be on an abandoned pineapple field owned by Maui Land &Pineapple Co. A draft environmental assessment says it would pump 1.44 million gallons of water from Honolua Aquifer daily.

The county may convert it into a permanent production well if the water meets federal and state quality standards.

The proposed project is meant to supplement the water from the Mahina Surface Water Treatment Facility, which draws water from area streams. It services parts of Lahaina, Napili, Wahikuli and Kahana with an average of 2.4 million gallons per day, but has difficulty meeting needs during reduced rainfall or drought.

Lahaina’s population grew 23 percent from 2000 to more than 22,000 in 2010. It’s forecast to jump 13 percent to 25,100 by 2020 and hit 29,000 in 2030.

Water systems owned by the county provide service to most of West Maui, including the coastal areas from Launiupoko to Napili, Maui County Water Supply Director Dave Taylor said in an email.

Privately owned water systems are also used, including parts of Kaanapali and Kapalua.

Taylor said the well would provide a mix of mechanical backup for existing systems and additional supply for new users.

“Bottom line, it will allow us to support increased water use to meet future demand,” Taylor said.


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