Despite emergency proclamation for Maui drought, some say more needs to be done

Acting governor Clare Connors signed an emergency proclamation for Maui County's drought, but residents say more needs to be done to solve water supply issues.
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:03 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 8:09 PM HST
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UPCOUNTRY MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Acting Governor Clare Connors signed an emergency proclamation for Maui County’s drought to free up aid for farmers and ranchers.

“This year is definitely the toughest one so far,” said Kaonoulu Ranch General Manager Ken Miranda.

Some areas of Maui County are classified as “exceptional drought” conditions because crops and cattle have been dying.

“We cut our herd back by about 150 head,” Miranda said.

He said the emergency proclamation to free up relief funding is a lifesaver to protect his animals and livelihood.

“Use this opportunity to purchase some extra feed for the cattle, so we can keep our cattle healthy and possibly free up some funds that we can use for additional fencing to help keep out the deer,” he said.

Kula Community Association Board member, Dick Mayer, said while emergency funding is a start, what’s needed is a long-term plan.

“What we really need is an action plan,” Mayer said. “We can’t make it rain.”

Mayer said with more people moving Upcountry, and no increase in water supply, things will only get worse.

“Find ways to provide a better water supply on a regular basis as a solution,” said Mayer. “That’s something that will be a decades-long process to build reservoirs, drill wells, do whatever else is needed.”

The federal government has designated Maui County as a natural disaster area because of drought conditions.

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