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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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November 2011

KRCA Annual Homeowners Meeting
February 24, 2016
Kilauea Elementary School Cafeteria
5:30 pm Registration
6:00 pm Meeting Starts

Kalihiwai Ridge homeowners can find official minutes to KRCA Board of Directors meetings by setting up their own Account Log In at
www.associaonline.com.  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

2016 has arrived and the Kalihiwai Reservoir has entered its 5th year of having had a full pool lake for only one of those years, actually experienced on only four occasions for 2-3 months at a time. Prior to 2011 the lake was consistently full for the ten years I had lived here before that, so this has been quite a frustrating and negative experience, requiring constant re-adjustment for those of us living around the lake and significantly compromising the enjoyment of our land.

There are many reasons for this inconsistent low water level over the last five years that has nothing to do with our consistent yearly rainfall of 100 inches. The lake is now being kept at 10 ft or less rather than a full pool 15 ft. This happens to be all the water the two water use easement holders actually need so the extra five feet that would create a healthy wetland wildlife habitat and functioning recreational area for the KRCA members has I feel never particularly been a high priority for the three-way financial partnership we have with the two easement holders as based on the Settlement Agreement KRCA made with them in 2012. They are getting the benefit for what they are paying for, we are not.

Couple that with the numerous DLNR deficiency notices following inspections starting in May 2013 for our long overdue and much needed repairs of the outlet works #2, dam and spillway, in order for the Kalihiwai Reservoir to be brought into satisfactory condition to sustain a PMF event, we are now faced with this 'low level safety drain' indefinitely I would think. Even if we were to begin this new year with the design, permitting, construction, inspection process via the County and DLNR, two to three years minimum would pass before there would be completion of such a project in order for KRCA to be issued a Certificate to Impound Water by DLNR. Then at some point in this process the lake would have to be totally drained again for construction to even take place, at which time the easement holders would not have access to the daily water they need for irrigation. Meaning it seems to me it will be many years yet before we again can even hope to see the Kalihiwai Reservoir at full pool.

In the meantime, I have come to see the lake more as a lagoon. The shoreline is growing in with weeds and native grasses and the inlets are now inconsistently running muddy creek beds rather than being deep water areas connected to and part of the lake itself. This disconnect between old property lines and the shoreline is a new maintenance responsibility for the 12 lakefront lot owners who are now faced with these various altered areas of landscaping needs to be dealt with for many years to come. Such adjustments might as well be accepted in my view as to do otherwise only keeps you in a constant state of discontent and life is just too short for sustaining such a negative state of being.

With all this said, the few Coots we have left are still able to dive into the 3 feet of water to feed on the fresh water clams and crustaceans they love. The Moorhens are breeding in their protected inlet pond areas nesting in the tall grasses where half dozen families are being raised, and the Nene will continue to fly in and out at will using our area as a rest stop on their way to other parts of the island. Earl's two Muscovy ducks are alive and well feeding from inlet to inlet while living full time on land next to the spillway. It is still my hope to celebrate a full pool lake in 2020 for the 100 year anniversary of the building of the Kalihiwai Reservoir, but only time will tell if that is indeed even possible.

I encourage all KRCA members to come to the Annual Meeting February 24, 2016 and let's learn more about whatever progress is being made or not regarding this ongoing issue.

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