MARCH 2016

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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November 2011

KRCA Board of Directors
Homeowners Meeting

April 27, 2016 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Kilauea Neighborhood Center

KRCA has contracted with Hawaiiana Management Company who has a Kalihiwai Ridge website access code of:

Sunshine Ruiz Hatto is also being contracted to act as the KRCA Recording Secretary.
Agendas and meeting minutes will be posted on this new site along with all our documents that can now be reviewed by the public.

My Impressions

Six board members and five KRCA members were present to review the progress being made concerning the Kalihiwai Reservoir issues. Andy Hood from SRGII has been hired to help manage the future scope of work required by DLNR. The H&H study and S&S soils work continue to be unresolved issues as more soil samples will be needed to complete the design phase of the project so accurate costs can be reported to the EHs and KRCA members for their input and approval of the preferred solution. DLNR is also most likely anxious for the process to commence in a more timely manner than it has to date.

The KRCA board has resolved to seek plans and specifications to focus on remediation of the KR to be able to permanently hold a full pool lake of 15 feet as was agreed to in the Settlement Agreement of 2012 for the interim phase, which we have been in for nearly five years now, with only 8 months of that time having a full pool lake at or near 15 feet. It has been made clear by the EHs that they only need to maintain a 10 feet level in the KR to meet their current water use needs, which would most likely take the level down to 7 feet once they begin releasing a promised monthly 11MG of water to the newly cleared, opened, and dedicated Kilauea Ag Park being used by the local community for sustainable farming.

But what of the future? What is more valuable than providing safe maximum water storage potential for times of unexpected draught as we face variable climate change conditions, which could adversely effect our small island home. The KR is the only such gravity fed water storage facility left on the North Shore of Kaua`i to offer such an invaluable natural ag water resource for our Kilauea farming community, potentially available to them for many years to come.

Instead this current reduced water level is what we have lived with for nearly five years now and has caused degrading of the wetland habitat for the endangered Coots who have mostly gone to Hanalei to diminish the Taro crops there, which is of much concern to those local farmers. The Coots require a full pool lake in order to return to the KR again to breed here as they used to, building their floating nests that need to be placed next to our covered shorelines for access to their food and protection. This reduced water level has also removed any possible recreational activities for our KRCA members to enjoy fishing and/or boating, has significantly diminished our lakeside esthetics, and significantly reduced lakefront property values with 14 out of 24 lake lots sold or are up for sale in the last few years, mostly out of frustration over these deteriorating conditions.

With the lake this low we now have unsafe areas of extreme muddy soil bordering six of the lakefront lot owner's properties who have the six drainage inlets running through their properties feeding the lake its much needed water from the upper end of the phase II development of Kalihiwai Ridge. This flood control function is ongoing throughout the year so water is always coming uncontrolled into the KR and now is automatically flowing out through pipes at Outflow #1 to Porter and Bridgewater Irrigation and out the ditch at Outflow #2 to the Kalihiwai River and eventually into the ocean at Kalihiwai Bay.

The EHs have stated they do not want to pay for dam removal and will be meeting with the KRCA Dam Committee on April 9th to discuss how to proceed with getting a design to remediate the KR so all parties can benefit from their one third share investment. To expect the KRCA members to invest in bringing the KR to a satisfactory condition to impound water at a reduced size that only continues permanently the degrading conditions mentioned above is unacceptable and grossly unfair to the wildlife, lake lot property owners, KRCA members, and the Kilauea farming community who have a right to expect this common area be preserved and protected to its optimum potential use for all concerned, as it was up until 2011.

I made the suggestion to the KRCA board that a lake lot owner's committee could be formed now to explore the possibility that once the KR is repaired consideration could be made to legally form a Lake Lot Association, LLC, deed the lake lot 3 over to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust for conservation purposes, and remove KRCA from any future maintenance or liability requirements so that this new partnership of LLA & HILT could together with the EHs conserve and protect the KR facility as a wetland habitat for our endangered water birds and guarantee a consistently full pool lake to benefit the wildlife, the lake lot property owners, KRCA members, and safely provide for the future water needs of the downstream Kilauea farming community. HILT is having a reception on April 14 and 15 which I hope KRCA President Larry Lau will attend to explore this idea further.

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