I Mana I Ka Wai Water Law and Advocacy Training: Lānaʻi
Tereariʻi Chandler-ʻĪao, Post-J.D. Legal Fellow
On Saturday, December 1, 2018, the I Mana I Ka Wai Water Law and Advocacy Training took place on the island of Lānaʻi. The training marked the sixth of ten such trainings to be held statewide in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (“DHHL”). More than 25 community members, including DHHL beneficiaries from Lānaʻi and Maui, were in attendance to receive information about the specific laws that protect DHHL water rights, Traditional & Customary Native Hawaiian practices, and other Public Trust purposes. This partnership between DHHL and Ka Huli Ao aims to deepen the Native Hawaiian community’s collective knowledge so we may be empowered by our fresh water resources.
At the training, Professor Kapua Sproat and Post-J.D. Fellow Tereariʻi Chandler-ʻĪao provided an introduction to the relevant legal and cultural frameworks. Dr. Jonathan Likeke Scheuer shared insight into DHHL’s water policy, and 2018 Law School graduate Mahesh Cleveland and Post-J.D. Fellow Tereariʻi Chandler-ʻĪao guided workshop participants through two case studies focused on Lānaʻi water issues. The day was filled with lively discussion and important insight into the future of Lānaʻi’s water resources and management options.
Following the training, community members attended a site visit to Pūlama Lānaʻi’s well and reservoir in Kōʻele, as well as the wastewater reclamation system that produces R-1 recycled water for use as irrigation. Mahalo to Joy Gannon and her team for their invaluable kōkua.
Abi Wright, a senior at Hakipuʻu Learning Center and project support for this training, reflected, “These seminars not only open up my understanding of the kuleana my generation has to ‘āina and wai, but also helped me focus in on specific cases and laws that have shaped the water law we know today. The passion in these communities, and the mentors I have met, inspired me to coordinate similar youth seminars as my senior project to share this ʻike. I hope to build more relationships within our communities and ensure that the future of our lāhui will thrive, with justice and ʻāina at the forefront. Ola I Ka Wai! Ola Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi!”
The next I Mana I Ka Wai Training will be held in Waiʻanae, on Saturday, December 15, from 10:30 – 2:00 at the LCC-Waiʻanae Moku satellite campus in Maʻili, followed by an optional site visit to Kaʻala Farms.