By Bret Yager, West Hawaii Today; 11 December 2014
Hawaii County can stay in the driver’s seat of the Keauhou aquifer — but the reprieve is only temporary and comes with conditions.
After nine hours of testimony in Kailua-Kona on Wednesday, the state Commission on Water Resource Management delayed making a decision on whether to put the aquifer under its control. Instead, the body opted to extend an investigatory period until the end of May. In the meantime, the county and the National Park Service must collaborate to try to find alternatives to a state designation for the water source.
The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply must also provide the commission with an outline of how it plans to replace water sources, add transmission lines, improve infrastructure and make sure wells are properly spaced to reduce the risk of them taking too much water from around Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, which petitioned last year for state control of the aquifer.
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