It started millions of years ago, of course, with volcanoes doing all the foundational development work.  Then the farmers of the mid 1800’s in this area used this land more for cattle than sugar, rice or coffee, but they were aware of times of drought.  In 1851-52 Charles Titcomb had the experience of a major drought in Hanalei where he was trying to grow first mulberry orchards for his silkworms and then coffee before giving up on that and the California gold rush, eventually moving to Kilauea.  In 1863 Titcomb bought the 3,000 acres of what we know as the Wai Koa (Bold Waters) land from King Kamehameha IV for $2,000 to again try to grow silkworms, then coffee, both unsuccessfully.  At his death his family sold the property in 1877 to John Ross and E. P. Adams who built Stone Dam in 1880 at the same year Kilauea Sugar Plantation came into being, managed by Robert A Macfie Jr, eventually having 4,500 acres under cultivation with Hawaii’s first three mile railway system built using five engines that Queen Liliuokalani herself drove the first stake into here on its inauguration day 24 September 1881.
 
By the time C. Brewer and Company got the property in 1910 (Charles Brewer 1804-1885 and nephew Charles Brewer II 1823-1863 were long dead) they may have had ongoing experience of the dry season we have most years and knew the sugar business needed water right when it stopped consistently and dependably raining from June to November.  In 1920 Kalihiwai Reservoir was built from the Rock Quarry stone to create an earthen berm dam using the contours of its natural streambed and water diverted using the Kalihiwai ditch that got it’s water from Pohakuhonu (Stone Turtle) Stream to provide gravity fed water to the farmers downstream.
 
After Kilauea Sugar Plantation closed in 1971, C. Brewer in 1977-79 made 33 large shallow prawn ponds on 100 acres, which he filled with piped in water from our Kalihiwai Reservoir.  At the same time in 1977-2006 Guava Kai was developed on 250 acres where Jackie Gushiken worked and successfully developed a way to have year round fruit bearing.  In 1996 C. Brewer sold Guava Kai to John Ferry who in turn sold to Bill and Joan Porter in 2006.  The Porters then removed the Guava orchards and replaced 300 acres with Honduras big leaf mahogany trees to mature around 2033 to be for sale as lumber to make furniture, cabinets, etc. 
 
An additional 100 acres has been developed on what is now called Kauai Fresh Farms growing nursery plants and four state of the art greenhouses built for tomatoes and lettuce.  Some of the 33 prawn ponds that had been neglected were replenished and beautified for the renewed raising of various fish in what is historically known as Kalihiwai Lagoons.  An 11 MG water storage pond was created bordering Kahiliholo Road with a pump system in place to retrieve water from Stone Dam and Kalihiwai Reservoir to potentially serve in an emergency as a fire suppression function if filled.  Stone Dam has been restored to its original splendor and the grounds below leading to the Kilauea Stream are a work of landscape art.
 
Malama Kaua’i and Common Ground were developed in this same time frame by Chris Jaeb where he has come to “merge the traditional Hawaiian values of aloha and malama aina with contemporary principles of sustainability.  Malama Kauai is committed to promoting sustainable watershed management guided by Hawaiian principles of ahupua’a management that balance societal and ecosystem needs.”  As you can see there are different people now in stewardship of this volcanic land we live on, also owning the water easement rights to Kalihiwai Reservoir. I would say these water easements are a very valuable asset, certainly obvious during our five-month dry/hurricane season, with September being our historic driest month.  Rains don’t seasonally start until November so as the lake lowers we call on our easement holders to continue their good stewardship of the land and natural resources of this precious vessel we are honored and blessed to care for, for there are other neighbors who have come to live and breed and raise their families here on Kalihiwai Reservoir. 
 
Three of the five endemic (exclusively native) endangered Hawaiian water birds make their home here in this designated wetland/habitat.  The Hawaiian Goose, Néné (2,500) can be seen in various yards, as they love our cut grasses. Our state bird, that was down to 30 individuals in 1957, mate for life and can live up to 32 years.  At least three dozen Nene now live here at lakeside.  The Hawaiian Moorhen, 'Alae 'Ula with a distinctive red frontal shield above its yellow-tipped bill have six families sighted hiding out here in dense foliage near the shoreline ponds, living undercover as they are very secretive and shy by nature and do not want to be disturbed. You can’t blame them as it is thought only a little over 900 remain so about 3% of their total population live on our lake. Then there are the Hawaiian Coot, 'Alae Ke'oke ‘o (3,000) who just love it here.  We have counted seasonal flocks of over 60 at a time living on the lake. They have those white bills and are quite curious and friendly, while wisely keeping a safe distance. Then we have our visitors.  The Hawaiian Stilt, Ae'o (1,700) can be seen coming from Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge to breakfast on our clams and several fly over visits of the Hawaiian Duck, Koloa Maoli (3,000) have been sighted dropping in to see our random domestics living at lakeside
.
  
It seems there is a reason, a calling perhaps for why we all live on Kahiliholo, the Royal Road.  A King and Queen have walked these lands, seen their value, and now it is up to us to preserve this asset and natural wetland habitat for the future history to be written about us and what did we do to protect, conserve and preserve it.  For many of us in the community
it is an honor to steward such a vessel; its water is a blessing not to be lost.