HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1088

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

C.D. 1

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO DECLARATION OF WATER SHORTAGE AND EMERGENCY.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Section 174C-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"174C-5 General powers and duties. The general administration of the state water code shall rest with the commission on water resource management. In addition to its other powers and duties, the commission:

(1) Shall carry out topographic surveys, research, and investigations into all aspects of water use and water quality;

(2) Shall designate water management areas for regulation under this chapter where the commission, after the research and investigations mentioned in paragraph (1), shall consult with the appropriate county council and county water agency, and after public hearing and published notice, finds that the water resources of the areas are being threatened by existing or proposed withdrawals of water;

(3) Shall establish an instream use protection program designed to protect, enhance, and reestablish, where practicable, beneficial instream uses of water in the State;

(4) May contract and cooperate with the various agencies of the federal government and with state and local administrative and governmental agencies or private persons;

(5) May enter, after obtaining the consent of the property owner, at all reasonable times upon any property other than dwelling places for the purposes of conducting investigations and studies or enforcing any of the provisions of this code, being liable, however, for actual damage done. If consent cannot be obtained, reasonable notice shall be given prior to entry;

(6) Shall cooperate with federal agencies, other state agencies, county or other local governmental organizations, and all other public and private agencies created for the purpose of utilizing and conserving the waters of the State, and assist these organizations and agencies in coordinating the use of their facilities and participate in the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and data with these organizations and agencies. For this purpose, the commission shall maintain an advisory staff of experts;

(7) Shall prepare, publish, and issue printed pamphlets and bulletins as the commission deems necessary for the dissemination of information to the public concerning its activities;

(8) May appoint and remove agents, including hearings officers and consultants, necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, who may be engaged by the commission without regard to the requirements of chapter 76 and section 78-1;

(9) May hire employees in accordance with chapter 76;

(10) May acquire, lease, and dispose of real and personal property as may be necessary in the performance of its functions, including the acquisition of real property for the purpose of conserving and protecting water and water related resources as provided in section 174C-14;

(11) Shall identify, by continuing study, those areas of the State where salt water intrusion is a threat to fresh water resources and report its findings to the appropriate county mayor and council and the public;

(12) Shall provide coordination, cooperation, or approval necessary to the effectuation of any plan or project of the federal government in connection with or concerning the waters of the State. The commission shall approve or disapprove any federal plans or projects on behalf of the State. No other agency or department of the State shall assume the duties delegated to the commission under this paragraph; except that the department of health shall continue to exercise the powers vested in it with respect to water quality, and except that the department of business, economic development, and tourism shall continue to carry out its duties and responsibilities under chapter 205A;

(13) Shall plan and coordinate programs for the development, conservation, protection, control, and regulation of water resources, based upon the best available information, and in cooperation with federal agencies, other state agencies, county or other local governmental organizations, and other public and private agencies created for the utilization and conservation of water;

(14) Shall catalog and maintain an inventory of all water uses and water resources; [and]

(15) Shall determine appurtenant water rights, including but not limited to the quantification of the amount of water and the specification of the water course or the means of access and delivery entitled to by that right, which determination shall be valid for purposes of this chapter[.]; and

(16) May declare an emergency if the commission 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 immediately threatens the public health, safety, and welfare. The commission may issue orders reciting the existence of the emergency and requiring such actions as the commission 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. An emergency order shall expire no later than one year after issued by the commission, unless extended by a separate or supplementary order."

SECTION 2. Section 174C-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]174C-9[]] Proceedings before the commission concerning water resources. (a) All proceedings before the commission concerning the enforcement or application of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted pursuant thereto, or the issuance, modification, or revocation of any permit or license under this code by the commission, shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 91. Hearings regarding particular water resources shall be conducted on the island where those water resources are located.

(b) Any party to whom an emergency order is directed may challenge that order but shall immediately comply with the order pending disposition of the party's challenge. The commission shall give precedence to a hearing on the challenge over all other pending matters."

SECTION 3. Section 174C-62, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]174C-62[]] Declaration of water shortage. (a) The commission shall formulate a statewide plan for implementation during periods of water shortage. As a part of the plan, the commission shall adopt a reasonable system of permit classification according to source of water supply, method of extraction or diversion, use of water, or a combination thereof.

(b) The commission, by rule, may declare that a water shortage exists within all or part of an area, whether within or outside of a water management area, when insufficient water is available to meet the requirements of the permit system or when conditions are such as to require a temporary reduction in total water use within the area to protect water resources from serious harm. The commission shall publish a set of criteria for determining when a water shortage exists[.], including but not limited to impacts and effects of the climate crisis.

(c) In accordance with the plan adopted under subsection (a), the commission may impose such restrictions on one or more classes of permits and outside of management areas on well and stream diversion owners and operators as may be necessary to protect the water resources of the area from serious harm and to restore them to their previous water quantity or chloride level condition.

(d) A declaration of water shortage and any measures adopted pursuant thereto may be rescinded by rule by the commission.

(e) When a water shortage is declared, the commission shall cause a notice [thereof] of the water shortage to be published in a prominent place in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the area[.] and on the commission's website. The notice shall be published each day for the first week of the shortage and once a week [thereafter] for four months, followed by monthly publications until the declaration is rescinded. Publication of [such] the notice shall serve as notice to all water users in the area of the condition of water shortage.

(f) The commission shall cause each permittee in the area to be notified by regular and electronic mail of any change in the conditions of the permittee's permit, any suspension [thereof,] of the permittee's permit, or of any other restriction on the use of water for the duration of the water shortage.

[(g) If an emergency condition arises due to a water shortage within any area, whether within or outside of a water management area, and if the commission finds that the restrictions imposed under subsection (c) are not sufficient to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, or the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life, or a public water supply, or recreational, municipal, agricultural, or other reasonable uses, the commission may issue orders reciting the existence of such emergency and requiring that such actions as the commission deems necessary to meet the emergency be taken, including but not limited to apportioning, rotating, limiting, or prohibiting the use of the water resources of the area. Any party to whom an emergency order is directed may challenge such an order but shall immediately comply with the order, pending disposition of the party's challenge. The commission shall give precedence to a hearing on such challenge over all other pending matters.]"

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


 


 

Report Title:

Commission on Water Resource Management; Water Shortage and Emergency; Declaration; Notice

 

Description:

Amends the conditions, manner, and areas in which the Commission on Water Resource Management of the Department of Land and Natural Resources can declare and provide notice of water shortages and emergencies. (CD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.