News Release – NR09-06 – May 22, 2009

Posted on May 22, 2009 in 2009 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU —  Farmers and ranchers in East Maui County are strongly urged to complete and submit an important survey being conducted by the Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) on agricultural water usage and needs in the area.  Completion of this survey will provide data which will help to determine water designations that will have a profound affect on agriculture now and for the future.

For several months, the MCFB has been requesting that farmers and ranchers submit agricultural water information to them. MCFB e-mailed a survey to agricultural associations, farmers and ranchers in East Maui County. The information from the survey will help provide information to the Commission on Water Resource Management as it develops policies for instream flow standards as mandated by the State Water Code. These policies will have a direct impact on the amount of water that will be available for agriculture.

All farms and ranches on East Maui receive their water from streams in East Maui.  Pertinent information that MCFB is asking for includes:

    1) How water is used on your farm

    2) If changes have occurred on your farm because of water availability – do you avoid planting

         during certain periods due to uncertainty of water availability?

    3) What practices are done to make best use of water

    4)  The agricultural value and other values that result from the use of the water

    5)  If you are planning investments and what your assumptions are on the availability of water

    6)  What will happen if your access to water was reduced

    7)  If you have greater assurance of water, will you expand?

“Farming and ranching operations cannot survive without water,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chair-person of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.  “So it is imperative that East Maui farmers and ranchers participate in this survey as the future of agriculture depends on the availability of irrigation water.”

The deadline to submit the surveys is May 28.  Farmers and ranchers who have not yet submitted their information yet or have questions about the survey, may contact MCFB Executive Director Warren Watanabe at 281-9718.

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