By Erin MillerWest Hawaii Today (5 Sept 2014)
Four independent scientists say they see no impact from freshwater pumping on resources within Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, a former Department of Land and Natural Resources chairman said Thursday.
Peter Young, now a consultant, served as the chairman from 2003 to 2007, the time period in which his department and its Commission on Water Resources Management was undertaking a major water resource designation project on Maui. The Keauhou aquifer, which National Park Service officials here say is threatened by increasing demands on the freshwater supply, is in a completely different situation from the one that faced Maui’s Iao aquifer.
For one, Young said during a Rotary Club of Kona meeting at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, wells were drawing more than 90 percent of the Iao aquifer’s sustainable yield, the amount of water that will be replaced by natural recharge sources. In Kona, the draw on the Keauhou aquifer is well below 50 percent of sustainable yield, a figure that was established in 1990 as 38 million gallons daily, Young said. Even by 2025, draw from the aquifer should only reach about half the sustainable yield. Add to that the U.S. Geological Survey’s revisions to how sustainable yield is calculated a few years ago, changes Young said would result in an even higher figure for sustainable yield than the 1990 figure.
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