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In the News: The Guardian August 17, 2023

Why was there no water to fight the fire in Maui?

An opinion piece by Naomi Klein and Kapuaʻala Sproat. Naomi Klein is the professor of climate justice and co-director of the Centre for Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia. Kapuaʻala Sproat is a Professor of Law at Ka Huli Ao Native Hawaiian Law Center & the Environmental Law Program. She also co-directs the…

In the News: The Garden Island December 20, 2021

BLNR renews KIUC permit despite local opposition

Leina‘ala Ley, Attorney, Mid-Pacific Office, Earthjustice: “KIUC admits it has not used water from the two diversions for the past two and a half years, and will not be able to use water for the foreseeable future because it has not repaired the siphon and it does not have plans, currently, to contract for those…

In the News: Honolulu Star Advertiser June 30, 2021

Battle might not be pau over Maui stream water

Isaac Moriwake, Managing Attorney, Mid-Pacific Office, Earthjustice: “This is a model for 21st-century water management for all of Hawaii. We owe it to the community who carried the burden for this, and to future generations, to get it right.”

In the News: Hawaii News Now June 29, 2021

In historic decision, commission fundamentally changes water distribution system in West Maui

Isaac Moriwake, Managing Attorney, Mid-Pacific Office, Earthjustice: “There’s no question that this is a historic move forward, in terms of shifting from the old plantation paradigm of draining rivers and streams dry to now recognizing the need to protect flowing rivers and streams.”

Local citizens jumped into the Wailuku River (`Īao Stream) to celebrate the return of stream flows in 2014.
(Photo courtesy of Oha)
Press Release June 29, 2021

Hawai‘i Water Commission Issues Historic Decision on Maui's “Four Great Waters”

Community groups flag concerns on further corrections and improvements needed

document June 28, 2021

Hawai‘i Water Commission Issues Historic Decision on Maui's "Four Great Waters"

Hawai‘i Water Commission 2021 Decision on Maui’s “Four Great Waters”

Mount Waiʻaleʻale is a place of paramount sacredness in Hawaiian culture.(Maxim Kabb / Getty Images)
Press Release August 22, 2018

Historic Restoration of Wai‘ale‘ale Water on Kauaʻi Heads to Litigation

Kauaʻi utility pulls plug on state water commission’s discussions to increase stream flows

feature June 28, 2017

Island Revival: Water Returns to Hawai'i's People

As Big Sugar plantations release their grip on the islands, local and Native Hawaiian communities are reclaiming their water rights and restoring their deep-rooted ties to the land.

The Waimea canyon and river in Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi(Martin M303/Shutterstock)
Article May 5, 2017

Waimea Water Deal Is a ‘Win-Win-Win’ for Hawai‘i

For the first time in more than 100 years, the Waimea River will flow from mountain to sea—thanks to successful mediation, not years of litigation.

document April 18, 2017

Mediation Agreement for the Waimea Watershed Area

Agreement concluding a year-long mediation involving Pōʻai Wai Ola, the state-run Agribusiness Development Corporation, the Kekaha Agriculture Association, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. Under the agreement, tens of millions of gallons of water each day will be restored to the Waimea River and its headwaters, and no diversion will ever be a total diversion again.

Waimea River and Canyon.
(Ray Wan / Earthjustice)
Press Release: Victory April 18, 2017

Flows Restored To Waimea River And “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”

Historic agreement approved by the State of Hawai‘i’s Commission on Water Resource Management will end wasteful plantation-era water diversions

Water rights heroes John and Rose Marie Duey at home in ‘Īao Valley with taro growing behind them.
(Sterling Kini Wong, Office of Hawaiian Affairs)
Article September 9, 2016

Maui Couple Plants a Taro Patch, Grows a Movement for Hawaiian Water Rights

It was like a horrible dream: Native Hawaiians fined for growing food and practicing their culture.

document March 9, 2016

Petition: Citizens Take Action To Increase Flows In Maui’s “Four Great Waters”

Maui community groups Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā and Maui Tomorrow Foundation, represented by Earthjustice, filed a legal petition to the state Commission on Water Resource Management to increase the flows in Nā Wai ʻEhā—Maui’s “Four Great Waters” of Waiheʻe River, Waiehu Stream, Wailuku River, and Waikapū Stream—based on the recent announcement by Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. that it will shut down its Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar plantation by year’s end.

Wailuku River (ʻĪao Stream) flowing naturally above all diversions at the ʻĪao Needle State Park.(Photo used with permission)
Press Release March 9, 2016

Citizens Take Action To Increase Flows In Maui’s “Four Great Waters”

Plantation closure provides opportunities for more sustainable and just agriculture

feature January 16, 2015

Ripple Effect

After years of citizen action and court battles, "The Four Great Waters" of Maui are finally coming back to life. But the larger fight to uphold public and native Hawaiian water rights continues.

feature January 15, 2015

Timeline: Restoring the “Four Great Waters” of Maui

See major milestones in the legal fight to uphold water as a public trust, stop wasteful water diversions, and restore the "Four Great Waters" of Maui.

video October 23, 2014

After 150 Years, Water Returns to Maui Streams

After 150 years, flow returned to two streams on Maui that had been diverted for more than 150 years by private corporations. Watch a video of the day water finally returned.

The newly restored flows to `Īao Stream (traditionally known as Wailuku River) in October 2014.(Kapua Sproat / Earthjustice)
Press Release: Victory October 14, 2014

Maui Communities Celebrate Return of Flow to Maui Streams after More Than a Century

Millions of gallons of water from industrial diversions return and restore flows to culturally significant waters