MAY 2015

"Adopt the pace of nature:
her secret is patience."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

KRCA Homeowners
Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Kilauea Neighborhood Center

Kalihiwai Ridge homeowners can find official minutes to KRCA Board of Directors meetings by setting up their own Account Log In at  They can assist you in getting your 7 digit homeowner number.  After you have that you will then need to set up a User Name and Password.  You can also set up having the Agenda to these meetings sent to you by e-mail the day before the meetings are held every month.

My Impressions

The lake has been lowered from a high of 14'6" back down to 8' to finish the seepage data collection in order to combine with the stability soil samples to turn in the Seepage & Stability Study to DLNR this June for their acceptance.  The rebuilt outflow gate has been reinstalled so the sandbags have now been removed and the ditch can be opened and cleared with vehicle access to the spillway planned for the downstream side of the Outlet Works #2.  Once this is done, and it is determined from additional borings recommended be taken from various points on the dam that the State of Hawaii Seismic Analysis Guidelines for Factor of Safety (FS=1.10/KR 1.50) for earthquake loading is adequately above 1.10, refilling one foot a day can begin with Arcadis' approval.

Kaua`i is in the Seismic Zone 1 (0-4) so is considered a low risk area for earthquake activity or any effect that might have on the design of our dam.  We are rated from a Significant to Proposed High Hazard small dam by the DLNR Dam Safety Program, which refers to the consequence of a dam's failure, not the condition of our dam.  If even one person downstream could die from a dam failure the High vs Significant or Low rating is assigned.  In Hawaii there are now 132 dams and 125 are rated High, and only 7 Significant or Low.  This is primarily due to the development that has increased downstream for most all dams on the islands and our Kalihiwai Reservoir (KR) is no exception to this.

Several homes in the flood/tsunami zone by the Kalihiwai River near the ocean at Kalihiwai Bay are much older and have not been built on stilts as the newer ones have been, causing a potential hazard to those residents living at ground level.  Over 80% of Hawaii dams were built before 1940, 71% are privately owned, and overall 22 of these dams have been removed and 1 has been reduced in size over the years. For an individual dam owner the costs of remediation combined with discontinuing agricultural activity on their land has made dam ownership unrealistic for some of these owners.

According to the Pacific Disaster Center 2008 inundation study if KR breached based on a maximum capacity of 428 acre feet, instead of the 141 acre feet mapped in 2009, it would take 1 1/2 hours for the KR to empty and reach the Kalihiwai Road in 70 minutes 1.93 miles downstream where one structure and one person are said to potentially be at any risk.  Since the reservoir is actually now 1/3 the capacity used in this study it may take about 30 minutes for the reservoir to empty in a breach with little effect measured downstream by the time the water went out to the ocean 2.10 miles away 75 minutes later adding one foot rather than three foot of depth from the river.

With all this technical discussion time to take a walk on this sunny day out to the dam via our new access road and see for myself all the progress being made to create a safe facility for our members to enjoy for many years to come.  I look forward to seeing some of you in the months ahead as we await the results of the Seepage & Stability Study and begin to plan for a safe and better long term future for our Kalihiwai Reservoir.

Until we meet again.

Maggie Lea

Suggested Readings:
Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai`i: 2012
Reference:  Commission on Water Resource Management
Click here to download PDF file

Koamalu Volumes 1&2
by Ethel M Damon, 1931
A story of pioneers on Kauai and of what they built in that island garden

Sugar Water by Carol Wilcox 1996
Hawaiian & English definitions from the book:
wai - water, blood, passion, life
wai wai - wealth
pani wai - dam
water - transparent, odorless, tasteless, liquid, H2O

Wetland habitat non-invasive plant suggestions:
bacopa, makaloa, carex, aka 'akai, neke
kupukupu, laua'e


Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

Kauai Forest Birds Recovery Project 

Sounds Hawaiian

National Wildlife Federation

Kalihiwai Reservoir is a
Certified Wildlife Habitat

Ducks Unlimited

Fishing Notes

Hawaii Audubon Society

Sierra Club Hawaii

Sufi at the helm of Moe Moku