HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO DECLARATION OF WATER SHORTAGE AND EMERGENCY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
§174C-62[ ]] Declaration of
water shortage[ .] and emergency. (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
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
.], including but not limited to impacts and effects
of the climate crisis.
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.
A declaration of water shortage and any
measures adopted pursuant thereto may be rescinded by rule by the commission.
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 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rescinded.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
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 [
of the permittee's permit, or of any other restriction on the use of water
for the duration of the water shortage.
If an emergency condition arises [
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] the
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.
(h) When a water shortage or emergency results in
a long term or permanent reduction of the available water source, the
commission may, after a hearing, modify, suspend, or revoke water use permits
relying on that water source."
SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Water Shortage and Emergency; Declaration
Amends 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. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.