Rainfall & Drought

Climate change has brought about a change in rainfall patterns which is generally decreasing rain in formerly dry areas and increasing rainfall in the wet areas. We need to find ways to take advantage of these new patterns by capturing more of the rainfall and diverting it to the dryer areas.

Rainfall Issues

The Aquifers

Much of Hawaii's pristine fresh water comes from its volcanic stone aquifers. The increasing demands for water from Hawaii's increased population and tourist industry, combined with rising ocean levels have shrunk the supply of fresh water in the aquifers, particularly on Oahu.

Groundwater Issues

Rivers & Streams

The flow of fresh water streams and rivers in Hawaii have also significantly declined. At the same time, shrinking government funding has curtailed stream level tests and sampling so the decline is uncharted.

Rivers & Streams Issues

Water Conservation

Water conservation is the key to preserving Hawaii's dwindling freshwater supply. Many mainland cities have successfully used new methods of conservation as part of their future water plans. Water rates need to be utilized which encourage users that are conserving water at the same time as punishing water wasters.

Conservation Issues

News & Research

Opinion: House Bill 1326 Regarding Maui Stream Diversion

By Gary Hooser | April 21, 2019/ Star Advertiser Opinion: In my 20 years of experience in government, politics and policy-making, House Bill 1326 is the most egregious example of special-interest legislation I have ever seen. Fortunately the state Senate has taken time to listen to public concerns. After weighing both sides, conducting a thorough public hearing, asking tough questions and … Read More...

Ocean sensors help UH researchers understand Hawaiʻi Island aquifers

May/University of Hawaii: Parrotfish, Pike, Pompano and Perch were instrumental in helping University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers gain a better understanding of Hualālai aquifer on Hawaiʻi Island. The four marine electric-field receivers, dubbed with common fish names, are part of state-of-the-art technology used by researchers from ʻIke Wai, a large-scale, multidisciplinary project funded by … Read More...

Hawaii Water Rights Bibliography

(Updated Feb 2019) This bibliography was compiled by Shavonn Matsuda for LIS 687, Spring 2012, at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. This bibliography has been developed to support research on surface water rights in Hawai‘i, focusing particularly on works that detail the history and development of Hawaiian water rights.  The intended audience are landowners, in Hawai‘i, seeking to understand … Read More...

Supreme Court to decide if Clean Water Act limits Hawaii’s underground wastewater dumping

By David Savage, Feb 2019, LA TIMES: The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether the Clean Water Act can prevent sewage plants from putting waste water into the ground if it flows from there into a river, bay or the ocean. The case from Hawaii is an important test of the reach of the federal government’s anti-pollution authority. Environmentalists sued alleging a sewage … Read More...