November-December 1989 Home   Newsletters

January 1990

February 1990

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Special Acknowledgement (Martha Black)
Planning and Zoning (Astrid Monson)
People's Water Conference (Martha Black)
Census '90
Proposed Bylaws Changes
League's Wish List
City Council Review Committee
League of Women Voters Presents
Vote Counts
City Funding
Special Thanks
State League Plans Fall Conference
Ten Commandments of Citizen Lobbying

People's Water Conference

The sixth annual PEOPLE'S WATER CONFERENCE held Saturday, January 13 in the Capitol auditorium was well attended. Its major concern, the need to recognize the essential unity of the water-shed as a functional region was well documented with slides, overhead projections and reports on actual experience in the field by speakers with broad background in environmental science.

The keynote speaker, Thomas Dunne, professor of Geological Sciences at University of Washington stressed that a watershed is a drainage basin in which water follows its own laws in working its way from rain on mountain top forests over hillsides and flat areas, to coastal waters and ocean. Water rushing--rushing if not slowed by natural cover -- cannot percolate into soil and aquifers to be purified and stored. This rush of water over a disrupted natural setting also results in both flash floods, because Hawaii's streams are so small and serious floods and hillside slippages as in Manoa, Hawaii Kai and Kuliouou. Dunne stated that with thoughtful planning and cooperation, these environmental problems as well as community conflict about development, more often than not, can be prevented.

Maynard Hufschmidt, Sr. Consultant, East/West Center Environmental Policy Institute and Duke Bainum, MD, TORCH provided a specific example of watershed disruption and nonpoint source pollution in the Moiliili Neighborhood Board area which is partially in a flood plain, surrounded by four drainage canals, and cut in half by a fifth. Moiliili not only gets the accumulated upstream pollution but contributes its own from traffic fumes, metals, and rubber from roads, plus chemicals, fertilizers and soil erosion which work their way through storm drains into the Ala Wai and into coastal waters where pollution washes back on beaches.

Jack Anderson, Director of Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, heads a research plan to determine the, ecology of near shore environment, what the system is doing, what the contaminants are, and who is discharging them. They find that as the contaminants decrease, environmental quality increases. The big worry is, do these things end up somewhere and build up? If they don't, they may well have a beneficial effect unless chlorinated. Chlorine lasts forever after distribution into the water.

Most of the above applies to water movement anywhere but the section on designation specifically applies to Hawaii because designation comprises a large section in Hawaii's new water code and is now petitioned on Maui, Lanai and Windward Oahu. Because designation and county water plans now being formulated fall under local League program, a more detailed description will follow in a later issue. Saul Price, National Weather Service was outstanding as moderator and coordinator of a panel composed of Richard Cox, WRMC; Kazu Hayashida HBWS; Nolan Perierra, Maui BWS; Sally Raisbeck, Lanai; and Charles Reppun, Windward Oahu. They provided much insight into the subject of Designation: Are we too late? Is it working? Recommendations?

Martha Black
Water Committee

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