County Water Policy Under Attack!

December 2, 2015

County Water Availability Policy Under Attack!!

Wednesday, Dec. 2nd 9:00 am. TESTIFY
Water Resources Committee Meeting

Agenda Item WR-11
8th Fl. County Building

200 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793

Maui County’s current law gives priority and incentives to 100% Affordable Housing. Developers would have you believe just the opposite! They are trying to blame Maui’s “Show Me the Water” law for our affordable housing shortage.

The truth is that SEVENTY-FIVE PER CENT of all future housing units will be UNAFFORDABLE to those with Maui salaries. New developments are NOW only required to have 25% of their units sell between $300k and $570 k. The rest, 75%, can be any price.
Real affordable housing projects are exempt from the Water Availability law, and are therefore given priority for the water we do have. Repeal of this law will only benefit developers who want to get subdivision approval and increase the value of their land without having to deliver actual housing. Thousands of affordable units that have already been promised remain unbuilt! If more houses do get built without a reliable source of water, existing water users will have to cut back when the next drought strikes.

Our public trust water resources are at risk if the water department loses this important planning tool.

Wednesday, Dec. 2nd 9:00 am. TESTIFY
Water Resources Committee Meeting
8th Fl. County Building

200 S. High St, Wailuku, HI 96793

Can’t COME?

Testimony may be submitted to referencing agenda item WR-11.

Keep our Water Availability Law Strong!!

• Keeps accountability in our water planning. Bill asks large developments to get real and “prove they have a water source”
• Protects water supply of current residents from being over-promised to new, unaffordable developments.
• Protects our aquifers and streams from over exploitation, as was commonly done before the bill passed.
• Has encouraged water conservation efforts when large commercial water users like hotels want to expand
• Asks County Water Department to comment on all proposed wells, including their impacts on the exercise of traditional and customary Native Hawaiian rights and practices.

Background: The water availability policy, codified at Chapter 14.12 of the Maui County Code, was enacted in 2007 with the intent to conserve the county’s water resources. The ordinance requires applicants for development approvals to provide evidence of “a long-term, reliable supply of water.”
The Committee is being asked to approve amendments to REPEAL the current bill.

“The policy is often mentioned in discussions as one of the main reasons why affordable housing has not been built. This review will provide a chance to evaluate what the policy’s true impact has been.”

The current law actually supports affordable housing being built, since it exempts all the following type of developments from proving a water source, giving them priority access to County water supplies where available:

• family subdivisions
• infill projects of 10 lots or less in west or central Maui service areas
• projects with 100% affordable housing in west or central Maui service areas
• public/quasi public housing projects in west or central Maui service areas

If the law is repealed, thousands of new units already approved in Central, South and West Maui will be “entitled” to water meters, whether there
are sufficient water resources available or not.


  1. Kelli Udetitz says

    Please do not approve building without a reasonable water source to provide to new homes. This is a case of the rich getting richer and steam rolling the average Maui resident.

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