STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1828

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 1088

H.D. 1

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 1088, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO DECLARATION OF WATER SHORTAGE AND EMERGENCY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend the conditions, manner, and areas in which the Commission on Water Resource Management of the Department of Land and Natural Resources can declare water shortages and emergencies.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Water of the County of Kauai and Department of Water Supply of the County of Hawaii.

 

Your Committee finds that, currently, water shortage plans have only been developed in water management areas. These plans establish criteria for declaring water shortages and actions that must be undertaken by water use permit holders to protect the health of ground and surface water resources for as long as water shortage conditions exist. This measure will require water shortage plans to be developed statewide and provide clarity that

the Commission on Water Resource Management has the authority to declare water shortages in any area, within and outside of a water management area.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Adding language that authorizes the Commission on Water Resource Management to declare an emergency if it determines, in consultation with the appropriate county and the Department of Health, that there is an absence of sufficient quantity and quality of water in any area, whether within or outside of a water management area, that threatens the public health, safety, and welfare;

 

(2) Adding language that authorizes the Commission on Water Resource Management to issue orders reciting the existence of the emergency and requiring such actions as the Commission on Water Resource Management deems necessary to address the emergency be taken, including but not limited to apportioning, rotating, limiting, or prohibiting the use of the water resources of the area;

 

(3) Adding language that allows any party to whom an emergency order is directed to challenge that order but require that they must immediately comply with the order pending disposition of the party's challenge;

 

(4) Adding language that requires the Commission on Water Resource Management to give precedence to a hearing on the challenge over all other pending matters;

 

(5) Repealing subsection (g) of section 174C-62, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and

 

(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1088, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1088, H.D. 1, S.D. 1.

 

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

 

 

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair