H.B. NO.



















     SECTION 1.  This Act shall be known as the Hawaii Freshwater Security Act.  The legislature finds that climate change is the paramount challenge of this century, posing both an urgent and long-term threat to the State's economy, sustainability, security, and way of life. 

     The 2012 Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment found that throughout the Pacific, warmer and drier conditions will decrease fresh water supplies.  Rising temperatures, and in some areas, reduced rainfall, will reduce both surface flows and groundwater recharge where it is most needed.  These changes will also threaten traditional lifestyles of indigenous communities due to reduced stream flows, loss of traditional and customary gathering practices, increased flooding, increased runoff and soil erosion, destruction of stream life, and reduced availability of traditional food sources and subsistence fisheries.  These impacts will be particularly hard on indigenous communities that need fresh water resources to sustain their connection with a defined place and their unique set of customs, beliefs, and practices. 

     The legislature further finds that drought and rising temperatures already have measurable impacts on Hawaii and are expected to accelerate in the next thirty-five years.  Hawaii's water resources are particularly vulnerable. 

     Act 286, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, created climate change adaptation priority guidelines encouraging collaboration to address climate change.  It recognized that climate change will impact agriculture, conservation lands, coastal and near shore marine areas, natural and cultural resources, education, energy, health, historic preservation, water resources, the economy, and the built environment such as housing, recreation, and transportation. 

     In 2013, Hawaii's landmark policies were included in the International Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership.   Hawaii was the first sub-national government to sign the declaration.  Subsequently, President Obama named Hawaii as one of eight states to the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

     Hawaii has not adopted a statewide climate adaptation plan; however, it is among the most vulnerable because of its distinctive location and susceptibility to climate change.

     The legislature also finds that it is time to ensure that Hawaii adapts before the effects of climate change increase beyond the State's ability to prevent the worst impacts on Hawaii's economy, environment, and way of life.

     The purpose of this Act is to address the effects of climate change through 2050 to protect the State's fresh ground and surface water resources, forests and reefs, economy, health, environment, traditional Hawaiian practices, and way of life.  Recognizing Hawaii's unique geography as the only island state and its susceptibility to climate change, this Act addresses the impact of climate change on Hawaii and supports ongoing climate change adaptation efforts.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 174C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§174C-     Climate adaptation and resilience planning; fees.  (a)  The commission shall:

     (1)  Conduct climate adaptation and resilience planning with other agencies and organizations by preparing plans, studies, and reports to develop, monitor, and evaluate strategic climate adaptation plans;

     (2)  Participate in public-private partnerships to engage public and private parties in projects to address potential climate change impacts in Hawaii through 2050; and

     (3)  Provide planning, actionable policy guidance, and assistance to state and county agencies regarding climate change and water resources.

     (b)  No later than December 31, 2017, the commission shall publish its findings, recommendations, and progress reports on actions taken and shall include this information in its annual report to the governor and the legislature each year thereafter.

     (c)  In administering its responsibilities, the commission shall assess fees pursuant to 174C-61 on non-state entities and individuals to monitor and manage Hawaii's ground and surface water resources.  Fees collected by the commission shall be deposited into the water resource management fund pursuant to 174C-5.5."

     SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Hawaii Fresh Water Security Act; Commission on Water Resource Management



Requires the Commission on Water Resources Management to conduct climate adaptation and resilience planning for Hawaii through 2050 to provide assistance to the State and counties.  Directs the commission to assess fees to monitor and manage Hawaii's ground and surface water. 




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