A blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the new County of Maui West Maui Water Source Development Project was held on 10.5 acres of former pineapple land below the West Maui Mountains in Honokōwai.
The county Department of Water Supply project will develop the Kahana Well, an existing exploratory well, and related improvements, such as constructing a well pump, control tank, chlorination system housing, electrical upgrades, access road and other work.
The Kahana Well is expected to come online in 2025. When it does, county officials say it will provide much-needed additional water source and improve reliability to the county’s water system in West Maui.
“The well will provide additional water supply for the Lahaina and Nāpili areas, which are served by the county system,” Water Supply Director John Stufflebean said in a county news release. “When operational, the well will provide a significant source of additional water to reduce the projected shortage in West Maui. Water sources include County of Maui wells and surface water treated at the two county treatment plants in West Maui.”
County of Maui Chief of Staff Leo Caires said the project reflects the county’s long-term planning goals of securing new water resources and bolstering the existing system.
“When our Water Supply customers turn on their water faucet, they usually rely on our system without a second thought,” Caires said on behalf of Mayor Richard Bissen, who was unable to attend. “To make that happen, it takes the diligent work of our department, our partners, with the support of our legislators and our regulators. We’d like to thank everyone.”
The nearly $16 million West Maui Water Source Development Project is federally funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. The project is more than a decade in the making, and its environmental assessment received a Finding of No Significant Impact in 2019.
The Kahana Well is located in the county’s West Maui water system northern region but will serve both northern and southern areas.
It will draw approximately 0.96 million gallons per day from the Honolua Aquifer based on an operational schedule of 16 hours pumping per 24-hour period. Essentially, 700 residential users could be supported by the well, which provides additional source and reliability to the county’s West Maui water system.