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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Petition to restore streams' water will be heard Tuesday

Advertiser Staff

The state water commission will hold a meeting next week to consider a petition to restore water to 19 East Maui streams.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at the Pā'ia Community Center.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar has been diverting water from the streams for more than a century to irrigate sugarcane fields in Central Maui.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation filed the petition on behalf of Native Hawaiian residents who want the plantation to return water to their streams so they can fish and farm taro.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar is the state's last sugar plantation. It says it needs the water to stay in business.

Native Hawaiians downstream of the plantation's stream diversions say they need water to protect their way of life.