State commission rules to end diversion of a Kauai stream

Kukuiula Harbor on Kauai's south side.
Kukuiula Harbor on Kauai's south side.(Hawaii Harbors Network)
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 7:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state commission is moving to protect an important waterway that runs through Kauai’s South Shore.

A ruling from Commission on Water Resource Management on Tuesday means the Lawai stream can no longer be fully diverted, like it has been for nearly a century.

The stream runs from the mountains above Kalaheo all the way down to Kukui’ula Harbor on the island’s south side. McBryde Resources continued to divert water for agriculture uses even after ending sugar operations in 1996. 

The community convinced the state to put an end to it in part to prevent invasive vegetation from blocking channels, which causes flooding.

The company will only be allowed to divert water during medium to excessive flows.

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