I Mana I Ka Wai Water Law and Advocacy Trainings Update
Tereari’i Chandler-‘Īao, Post-J.D. Fellow
In May 2019, Ka Huli Ao, in partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, conducted two I Mana I Ka Wai water law and advocacy trainings for homestead communities in Kona and Waimea. The goal of the trainings is to provide a brief overview of Hawaiʻi’s legal framework governing water resource management and to discuss specific ways homestead communities can advocate for the pono use and protection of wai.
On Saturday, May 11, 2019, Ka Huli Ao held its I Mana I Ka Wai Water Law and Advocacy Training in Kona on the island of Hawaiʻi. The training marked the eighth of ten such trainings to be held statewide in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (“DHHL”). Community members received information about the specific laws that protect DHHL water rights, Traditional & Customary Native Hawaiian practices, and other Public Trust purposes. This partnership between DHHL and Ka Huli Ao aims to deepen the Native Hawaiian community’s collective knowledge so we may be empowered by our fresh water resources.
At the training, Professor Kapua Sproat and Post-J.D. Fellow Tereariʻi Chandler-ʻĪao provided an introduction to the relevant legal and cultural frameworks. Dr. Jonathan Likeke Scheuer shared insight into DHHL’s water policy, before Tereariʻi Chandler-ʻĪao guided workshop participants through a case study focused on actualizing DHHL’s water reservations.
On Saturday, May 19, 2019, Ka Huli Ao, in partnership with DHHL, held its I Mana I Ka Wai Water Law and Advocacy Training in Waimea on the island of Hawai’i. The training marked the ninth of ten such trainings. At the training, Professor Kapua Sproat and Post-J.D. Fellow Mahina Tuteur provided an introduction to the relevant legal and cultural frameworks. Dr. Jonathan Likeke Scheuer shared insight into DHHL’s water policy, and Roy Hardy, Groundwater Program Manager for the Hawaiʻi State Commission on Water Resources Management, provided an overview of the area’s water resources.
The day was filled with lively discussions and important insight into the future of Waimea’s water resources and management options. At the end of the workshop, Tereariʻi Chandler-ʻĪao guided participants through a case study focused on implementing resiliency planning. The Kailapa Community Association identified Water Management Area designation in its recent climate resiliency planning efforts as a valuable pathway to protect the long-term sustainability of fresh water sources in the Kohala Mountains. Such action provides the State Commission on Water Resource Management with additional tools to more closely monitor water usage, related permits, and stream health.
The next and final I Mana I Ka Wai Training will be held on Wednesday, July 17, from 5:00-8:30pm at the Pāhala Community Center in Kaʻū on Hawaiʻi Island.