Ulupono Initiative

Fresh Water Initiative

Addressing the increasing threats to fresh water security in the Hawaiian Islands.

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Through the Ulupono donor-advised fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), Ulupono Initiative supports HCF’s Fresh Water Initiative, a multi-year effort to address the increasing threats to fresh water security in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Fresh Water Initiative’s overarching goal is to ensure a sustainable, plentiful and cost-effective fresh water supply sufficient for all of Hawaii’s agricultural, cultural, domestic and ecosystem needs by 2030. Launched in Fall 2013, the Initiative is currently in Phase 1 as it develops a shared agenda for action and gathers the necessary components.

HCF also convened a Fresh Water Council comprising 20 key stakeholders from around the state. The Council laid out a “road map” to achieve water security in Hawaii, with a “Blueprint for Action” published in 2015.

Why We Invested

Water is essential to all of Ulupono Initiative’s interests in local food production, renewable energy and waste reduction sectors. Ulupono believes that HCF can make an important difference in bringing the water community together for the shared goals of sustainability, energy self-sufficiency, agricultural resilience and food security.

“The Fresh Water Initiative is a collaborative attempt to get out in front of the curve. We know that Hawaii is getting less rainfall every year and our demand is likely to grow with population and increased local agriculture production. Through the input of diverse stakeholders, we're trying to find solutions to water supply that will work for all parties.”

– Josh Stanbro, Hawaii Community Foundation


  • Addresses the important issue of fresh water security
  • Ensures a sustainable, plentiful and cost-effective fresh water supply for all of Hawaii's needs
  • Helps to develop a shared agenda and gather necessary components among key stakeholders

At a Glance

Investment Area
Energy, Food, Waste
Financial Model
Total Investment

Support for Fresh Water Initiative is provided through a grant from the Ulupono Donor-Advised Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation.