(September) By Chad Blair in Civil Beat. Article XI, Section I of the Hawaii Constitution states that, for the benefit of all generations, the state and its political subdivisions shall conserve and protect all of its natural resources, including water.
Water along with land, air, minerals and energy sources are held in public trust, a major outcome of the 1978 Constitutional Convention.
And yet, in spite of this bedrock principle, battles over water rights continue through the present day, most recently and prominently seen in East Maui, where taro farmers and environmental groups have tangled with large developers and land owners for decades over diversion of stream water.
A new book, “Water and Power in West Maui,” written by Jonathan Scheuer, long active in helping groups manage environmental conflict and preserve resources, and Bianca Isaki, an attorney and director for the North Beach-West Maui Benefit Fund, reminds us that struggles over controlling access to fresh water are hardly limited to East Maui.
It’s a statewide issue, and it is fundamentally about “perpetuation of political and economic power and privilege,” as a blurb for the book accurately states.
See the rest of the article in Civil Beat here…