© 2024 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Stream flows are set to be restored to five Molokaʻi waterways

East Kawela
East Kawela

Stream flows are set to be restored to five Molokaʻi waterways for the first time in over a century.

The state Commission on Water Resource Management Tuesday approved new interim instream flow standards that will either fully or partially restore five streams on Molokaʻi.

These include East Kawela, East Kawela Tributary, West Kawela, Lualohe, and Waikolu Streams.

Stream restoration means healthier coastal springs, wetlands, and nearshore ecosystems, which in turn helps support subsistence gathering and fishing on Molokaʻi.

The decision was prompted by a petition from the community group Molokaʻi Nō Ka Heke, which sought stream restoration as well as accountability from nearby Molokaʻi Properties.

The company currently diverts water from various streams in Kawela, Kaunakakai, and Waikolu, and was tasked by the Commission to investigate any wasted water in its system.

Commissioners received more than 100 pieces of written testimony and hours of oral testimony on the topic at its monthly meeting last week.

Water Commissioner Aurora Kagawa-Viviani called the decision an opportunity to restore life to the affected area and move the Molokaʻi community towards true equity.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
Related Stories