STAND. COM. REP. NO.  1131-16


Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2016


RE:   S.B. No. 2217

      S.D. 2




Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred S.B. No. 2217, S.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to ensure that agricultural crops on the island of Kauai receive a steady and dependable supply of water by appropriating funds for the operation, repair, maintenance, and improvement of the East Kauai Irrigation System by the East Kauai Water Users' Cooperative (Cooperative).


     A member of the Kauai County Council, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Ponoholo Ranch, Saiva Siddhanta Church, East Kauai Water Users' Cooperative, Kalepa Koalition, Larry Jefts Farms, LLC, and several concerned individuals supported this measure.  The Department of Agriculture supported the intent of this measure.


     Your Committee finds that the Cooperative, a volunteer group, has for more than nine years expended its own resources to keep the East Kauai Irrigation System a viable agricultural asset, while unsuccessfully requesting financial assistance from the State.  Your Committee further finds that the 21-mile irrigation system, which services more than 12,500 acres of agricultural lands, would have been abandoned, but for the efforts of the Cooperative, which receives more than $150,000 per year in volunteer labor, fees, and donations.  Appropriating $75,000 to assist the Cooperative in the operation, repair, maintenance, and improvement of the irrigation system would be a small investment with substantial returns.  The Department of Agriculture estimated that the State would expend an amount five to six times greater than the amount requested by the Cooperative to operate the irrigation system.  While the operation of the irrigation system by the Cooperative is an operational model worthy of further consideration and possible implementation in other irrigation systems, your Committee finds that a more dependable and sustainable funding mechanism should be put in place to assist the Cooperative, rather than an annual legislative appropriation.


     Should the Committee on Finance deliberate on this measure further, your Committee on Agriculture respectfully requests that it consider appropriating $75,000 for the operation, repair, maintenance, and improvement of the East Kauai Irrigation System by the Cooperative.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2217, S.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Finance.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,