A Blueprint for Action: Water Security for an Uncertain Future
Hawaii has been blessed with consistent rainfall, advantageous geology, and high-quality drinking water stores for centuries. Recent findings, however, have raised concern about long-term fresh water security for our Islands. University of Hawaii and other scientists have documented troubling trends including reduced rainfall, higher evaporation rates, and declining stream flows in recent decades. These findings, coupled with the demand of an ever-increasing population, suggest that Hawaii is entering an era of fresh water uncertainty.
The Hawaii Fresh Water Initiative (Initiative) was launched in 2013 to bring multiple, diverse parties together to develop a forward-thinking and consensus-based strategy to increase water security for the Hawaiian Islands. Organized by the independent, nonprofit Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), the Initiative relied on a blue ribbon advisory panel of individuals (Hawaii Fresh Water Council or Council) with deep knowledge of water and a collaborative spirit to articulate a vision for a more secure and sustainable water future based on shared values, and shared sacrifice. This Blueprint is the result of their work, and provides Hawaii policy and decision-makers with a set of solutions that have broad, multi-sector support in the fresh water community that should be adopted over the next three years to put Hawaii on a path toward water security. The Blueprint also builds on the good work, findings, and recommendations over the years by preceding stewards of Hawaii’s most important resource.