Lihue Water Issues

Lihue Water Issues


As you may recall, we recently appealed the Circuit Court’s denial of our case that objected to KDOW’s illegal purchase and sale of diverted stream water without proper permits from the State, per HRS §171-58 or environmental review of the source waters, HRS §§171-58 and 343.

Despite our appeal of the Judge’s decision, KDOW has decided to begin construction and installation of nearly 2 miles (9000 feet) of an 18″ main, Kapaia Cane Haul Road 18″ main. The project will cost ratepayers more than $3 million.

If the County proceeds with the project and losses the appeal, KDOW runs the risk of incurring greater expense if it is required to remove what it installs.

This Thursday Kauai Department of Water Board will review 2 agenda items related to the start of construction and installation of the Kapaia Cane Haul Road 18″ main despite the pending appeal.

Public comment can be sent by email up to close of business Wednesday August 26:

Here is a link to the Civil Appeal Docketing Statement (CADS) which describes our legal bases for the complaint filed against this project.

Our main objection is that no one has the right to divert and sell the waters of Wai`ale`ale, Waikoko and our other streams without permit or proper review of the environmental impact.

When you comment on this project, addressed in KDOW agenda items G2, page 76 and/or H3, page 136, feel free to use any of the objections raised in our case, set forth in the attached CADS. Our comments may save rate payers, all of us, an expense that should be avoided until proper environmental review is complete and there is compliance by KDOW with the State statues and water code.

We know that KDOW itself recognizes that there is an issue as to its right to sell/deliver the diverted stream water ditched to the Kapaia Reservoir and treated by Grove Farm in their surface water treatment plant. In a KDOW managers report in January 2019, the manager told the Water Board that he couldn’t recommend the Board exercise its option to purchase Grove Farm’s SWTP because Grove Farm has not produced any documents confirming its right to divert and sell State water.

“The Department has previously requested a copy of the agreements referenced in Section 2.b. Control of
Surface Water System, but to date has not received them. Without a copy of these agreements, the
Department cannot properly evaluate the possibility of acquiring the SWTP. Without documentation
regarding Grove Farm ownership rights to the source water (for e.g. appurtenant and riparian rights), the
ditch system, and its obligations to other parties with whom it may have water agreements, the Department
cannot ensure the continued supply of water as a transferee of these “rights.”” Page 69, copy attached.
Here is a link to the KDOW Board agenda for this Thursday:
Page 76, Manager’s Report No. 17-50 and page 136, Manager’s Report No. 21-04 both relate to the Kapaia Cane Haul Road 18″ mai

KDOW Managers Report Document
Trial Court Disposition  Document