Hub of the water wheel

SUBHEAD: The Kaloko Reservoir is the nexus of water control in the Koolau Moko affecting several Ahupuaa.  

By Juan Wilson on 5 June 2009 for Island Breath -

Image above: Map showing 155 acres of land recommended for turn-over to the state of Hawaii for water management (area within dotted line). Map graphic by Juan Wilson.

The use of ditches have had a profound affect on the lives of all who live on Kauai. As population grew, the ancient Hawaiians used diverted water for their farming. When the plantations came bigger ditches transformed everything.

Water that once went to the taro fields in the valleys then went to sugarcane and pineapple fields where there had been no water. The valleys starved for water and the taro and sweet potatoes went away. A vivid account of this history can be found in the book "Sugarwater".

All the plantations, except for Kamakani, are gone now, but the diversion of water has far from abated. It's now used for housing development and farming. In the aftermath of the failure of the Kaloko Reservoir in March of 2006 the controversy about diverted water has been growing.

It has become evident that the Kaloko disaster was the result of the failure of both private and public entities that should have regulated and managed water in the Moloaa area. Crimes were committed.

Recently I have become involved with the issue of water diversion near the Kaloko Reservoir. After studying the area with EPA and DLNR reports, with survey maps, GIS software and GoogleEarth, I have come to realize how crucial the control Kaloko Reservoir is to the area between Kelauea and Moloaa.

Since cane plantation days, flow of water entering and leaving the immediate area of the reservoir has been a source of wealth and power. Two ditches in particular played a part in making the Kaloko Reservoir the "hub of the water wheel".

The two ditches are the Kaloko (or Puu Ka Ele) ditch flowing towards Kaloko from the west and the Moloaa (or Kaluaa) Ditch flowing from the south.

Flowing away from the reservoir are the Kaloko overflow ditch heading off towards the Moloa Stream to the East, the Wailapa Stream flowing away from the reservoir to the northwest and the Waipako Ditch flowing to the northeast.

The affect of these waterways in and around the Kaloko Reservoir is to direct the flow of great quantities of water between four ahupuaa that directly border the reservoir (Moloaa, Lepeuli, Pilaa, and Kahili) and other ahupuaa downstream (Waiakalua, Waipako and Kaakaaniu).

he area in and around the reservoir have been in private hands since the sugar plantations needed water. Today that private land is in large part operated by Jimmy Pflueger and his partners.

The management of the water entering and leaving the Kaloko area is the control valve affecting seven major watersheds on the north side of Kauai.

That water management has proven to be a disaster for the island. Water has been stolen. People have died.

My suggestion is that the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is to use eminent domain (or other legal devices) to take the area around the reservoir (above the 700 foot countour elevation) and add it to the State's land holdings adjacent on the south.

This would be in the best interest of the people living throughout the Koolau Moku. There would be three porperties affected by such a plan.

They are Mary N. Lucas Trust property (TMK 4-5-1-005 at 803 acres), of which Pflueger is a trustee; Pflueger Partners property (TMK 4-5-1-001 at110 acres); and the Circensa property (TMK 4-5-1-002 at 71 acres).

The total area of the land turned over to the state as part of the state forest reserve would be about 155 acres. Lucas Trust would lose 98 acres, Plueger Partners would lose 52 acres and Circensa would lose 5 acres.

Rather than have a cabal of private owners dictating who gets water and what everyone pays for it, a fairer and more natural system should be developed that has the health and welfare of Kauai as its first priority.

See also: Island Breath: Moloaa Diversion Forensics 5/22/09


tommycall said...

I live in moloaa along the stream, our water comes from a well. I moved here 11 years ago, the stream was clear and full, you could see the crabs crawling along the bottom and schools of fish, today the water is shallow, no more crabs or fish, the water is grey and cloudy. If this is a result of water being diverted then another terrible crime has been committed by greedy selfish mean people. I pray our goverment stands up for us and reverses this wronge and do it right away, enough on the studys, I am afraid what will come next is our well water will run dry. Mahalo and God bless Tom Mccall

Robert Sato said...

Thank you Juan for the information in your Google Blog. I will have a series of shows on public access channel 52 on the Kaloko dam and 'Jimmy Pflueger Innocent'. He is Innocent of knowing committing 'ANY crimes' against man (his neighbors) and the environment. The series of shows will expose those who knew about problems with the Kaloko dam (because Mr. Pflueger told them) and they did nothing to fix the problem. The Kilauea Irregation company had a contract to be responsible for 'the running of the Kaloko dam'. Tommycall is correct in his observation of the changes of the stream by his house. An example of progress can be seen in the show. Mr. Pflueger has a fresh water stream on his property his neighbors, capped it without his permission. A steel plate was put over a concrete well they built around the 'fresh water stream' and chained the steel plate with a padlock. They had the keys to the chained well and non was given to Mr. Pflueger even though it was on his property. They connected (about) two 3inch plastic pipes went from the enclosed fresh water spring to their property--without telling Mr. Pflueger or getting his permission to be on Mr.Pflueger's property. This and other MALICIOUS misconducts TOWARD MR. PFLUEGER will be seen on the SERIES of shows on Hoike channel 52- Monday and Thursday- The TRUTH SERIES- Jimmy Pflueger Innocent.
Thank you very much.
Robert Sato

Robert Sato said...

Aloha, A Fiend of Jimmy Pflueger mentioned that the jImmy Pflueger DID NOT CONTROLor OWN the water system. THE Kilauea Irrigation company (owned and operated by Tom Hitch) 'owned and operated' the System. It was offered by Dr. Buyers to Mr. Pflueger who declined because it was in total disrepair. They sold it to Tom Hitch (?) for $10.00 and this was approved by the Kauai County, EPA and The Department of Water for the State of Hawaii.
All interested parties to this complicated situation should check it out 'on record'.

Manawai said...

The Circensa property never had, or needed, access to Kaloko Reservoir and was not connected to the Kaloko water system. You will notice that the corner of the Circensa that us up on top of the hill which surrounds Pflueger's "private lake" does not touch the lake itself. The Circsena property has a separate stream/ditch running out of the State forest Reserve and through it.

Further, what Robert Sato fails to divulge is that Pflueger operated the reservoir as if he had unfettered right to alter and use it. He smoothed out the top and he filled in the emergency overflow facility. Pflueger did as he wanted and, while I don't doubt that the reservoir needed a lot of work, he chose only to improve it for this own recreation. He had two jets ski's up there for play. So there is no way one can say he was guiltless in the irresponsible and dangerous management of the reservoir. The courts agreed.

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Manawai,

It is time that water rights were returned to the Hawaiian people who managed the resources of the island with more foresight and and expertise than those who stole it for big ag and urban development.

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