By MARINA STARLEAF RIKER
HONOLULU (AP) - The University of Hawaii is being awarded $20 million to combine Native Hawaiian knowledge with modern geological data to figure out exactly how fresh water flows in Hawaii.
The grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the university to study water sustainability throughout the state. This comes as the islands face a growing population, climate change as well as cultural and legal battles surrounding water rights. '
The project will use the money to pay for drilling wells and collecting data to chart the flow paths and amount of groundwater in Hawaii. It will also fund research positions at the university.
Health and environmental officials say Hawaii is fortunate to have lots of volcanic soil and rainfall to supply the state's residents with an ample supply of clean drinking water.