The Commission on Water Resource Management consists of seven members, five of whom are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate. The remaining two are the Chairperson of the State Board of Land and Natural Resources, who serves as Chairperson of the Water Commission, and the Director of the State Department of Health. The members are unpaid and serve a limited term. Click here to learn more about our logo and motto, "Ke Kahuwai Pono."
William J. Aila, Jr., Chairperson
Having worked for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) for more than 23 years in the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, William served as the well-respected harbor agent for Waianae Boat Harbor. His responsibilities included managing, operating and maintaining 31 acres of fast and submerged lands. William has served on national, state and community advisory groups for more than 20 years, which has given him the opportunity to interact and listen to concerns expressed by different stakeholders affected by DLNR regulations and policies. As president of Mohala I Ka Wai, William worked with the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife, U.S. Army, community groups and private landowners to create the Waianae Mountains Watershed Partnership, an organization dedicated to protecting Hawaii’s forest, streams and drinking water. William, a Waianae High School graduate, received his Bachelor’s degree in General Tropical Agriculture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Loretta J. Fuddy, A.C.S.W., M.P.H.
Loretta most recently served as Chief of the Family Health Services Division, Hawaii Department of Health (DOH). She holds degrees in sociology, social work, and public health from the University of Hawai'i and Johns Hopkins University. Loretta is a recognized leader in the public health field having served as Chair of the Hawai'i Public Health Association, President of the Association of State & Territorial Public Health Social Workers, Treasurer and Secretary of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. She is a recipient of various awards including the Hawaii Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth, and the DOH Sustained Superior and Exemplary Performance Award. Raised in Kaimuki, she is a graduate of the Sacred Hearts Academy.
William D. Balfour, Jr.
Born in Kealia, Kauai at the McKee Sugar Company where his father was a plantation doctor, Bill was raised on Kauai, Hawaii and Maui attending early and middle public schools. Bill is a graduate of Punahou School and the University of Missouri with a BS degree in General Agriculture. He also completed Post Graduate study with the Hawaii Sugar Planters Association and Stanford Executive Management Programs. Bill worked in the Hawaii Sugar Industry for 39 years with 19 years as President and Manager of Pioneer Mill Company, Oahu Sugar Company, Lihue Plantation Company and McBryde Sugar Company. Following his retirement in the sugar industry, Bill worked as Director of Parks and Recreation for eight years and as Civil Defense Administrator for two years in the City and County of Honolulu. He is presently an Agricultural Consultant. This is his first term (July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2014) with the Commission.
Born in Hawaii and raised in Ulupalakua, Sumner is the second generation of the Erdman Family to lead Ulupalakua Ranch. His parents, C. Pardee and Betsy, moved to Maui and purchased Ulupalakua Ranch in 1963. Sumner graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He has also completed a two year Agriculture Leadership Program at the University of Hawaii and the Stanford Executive Management Program.
Before he came back to join his family in managing Ulupalakua Ranch in 1989, Sumner spent some time working on a cattle, deer and sheep operation in New Zealand. He became President of Ulupalakua Ranch in 1995. Sumner is the past President of the Maui Cattlemen’s Association; past Vice-President and President of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council; a Founding Director of North American Elk Breeders Association; and is a past Director of the Central Maui Soil and Water Conservation District. He has also served on the Boards of the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture and Maui Country Club. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Seabury Hall. In his spare time, he coaches a high school and youth soccer team and spends time with is wife, Angie, and two daughters, Danielle and Camille. This is his first term (July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2013) with the Commission.
Neal S. Fujiwara
Neal S. Fujiwara recently retired as the Maui District Conservationist from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) after thirty-two years. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Utah State University and also worked at Pioneer Mill Sugar Co. as an assistant irrigation specialist before joining the NRCS. As Maui District Conservationist, Mr. Fujiwara administered a multitude of natural resources conservation programs to help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Mr. Fujiwara also served as District Conservationist for Kauai and Soil Conservationist for Kauai County. This is his second term (July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2013) with the Commission.
Jonathan Starr raises honeybees and produces raw, natural honey in remote Kaupo, Southeast Maui, where he lives off the grid utilizing independent renewable energy and water catchment infrastructure. He was born in New York City, and moved to Maui in 1969. He owns and manages commercial retail properties in Wailuku and Waimea, and at one time owned and ran the Artkraft Strauss Companies in New York City, where he lowered the New Years Eve Ball for 15 years. He is married to Helen Nielsen, Board President of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.
Jonathan has been involved with water resource development, water rights and system management for over 40 years, and worked on water projects in East Maui, India, Kenya, and upstate New York. His public service includes: Chairman of the Maui Planning Commission, Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui & Mayor’s Hana Advisory Committee; terms on the Maui Board of Water Supply, Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Taskforce, State Biofuels Taskforce, the Wailuku, Kihei, Hana Community Association Boards, Sierra Club State Executive Committee, and FEMA’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team HI-1. He’s held a 25 ton Master/Mate Maritime License, Commercial Pilots License with Instrument Rating, and Extra Class FCC Radio License. He is an electric bass player, performing regularly with Maui’s eclectic Haiku Hillbillys, and does recording projects in his Wailuku recording studio, where he recently co-mixed Willy K’s Hoku Award winning album Warehouse Blues. This is his first term (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2016) with the Commission.
Ted Yamamura was raised on Maui and attended the University of Hawaii. He served in the United States Air Force (1967-1971) and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He went on to become a branch manager of the former Honolulu Federal Savings and Loan, and in 1982, Mr. Yamamura established ACM, Real Estate Appraisers (now ACM Consultants, Inc.), a real estate valuation and counseling firm. He has over 32 years experience in real estate valuation and counseling and also provides real estate arbitration and expert witness services. Mr. Yamamura is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute and a certified member of the International Right of Way Association. He has previously served as a member on the Hawaii State Board of Land and Natural Resources (2001-2006) and has served one term (2008-2012) as a member of the Maui Board of Water Supply. This is his first term (April 17, 2012 - June 30, 2015) with the Commission.
The State Water Code declares that the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources shall serve as the Chairperson of the Commission, while the Director of Health shall serve as an ex-officio voting member. The other five members of the Commission are to be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Each member must have substantial experience in the area of water resource management.
In appointing a member to the Commission, the Governor selects from a list submitted by a nominating committee. The nominating committee is composed of four individuals chosen as follows:
- Two (2) persons appointed by the Governor.
- One (1) person appointed by the President of the Senate.
- One (1) person appointed by the Speaker of the House.
Following a solicitation of applications, a list of at least three individuals is sent to the Governor for each open position. Once appointed, the members of the Commission serve without compensation, but are reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties. The tenure of each Commission member is subject to the provisions of §26-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which are summarized as follows:
- The members of each board and commission established by law shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the Governor.
- The terms of the members shall be for four years; provided that the Governor may reduce the terms of those initially appointed so as to provide, as nearly as can be, for the expiration of an equal number of terms at intervals of one year for each board and commission.
- Unless otherwise provided by law, each term shall commence on July 1 and expire on June 30
- No person shall be appointed consecutively to more than two terms as a member of the same board or commission; provided that membership on any board or commission shall not exceed eight consecutive years.
- Any member of a board or commission whose term has expired and who is not disqualified for membership under subsection (a) may continue in office as a holdover member until a successor is nominated and appointed; provided that a holdover member shall not hold office beyond the end of the second regular legislative session following the expiration of the member's term of office.
- A vacancy occurring in the membership of any board or commission during a term shall be filled for the unexpired term thereof, subject to Article V, section 6 of the Constitution of the State.
- The governor may remove or suspend for cause any member of any board or commission after due notice and public hearing.
The State, as trustee of water resources, has the constitutionally-mandated responsibility to set policies, protect resources, defines uses, establish priorities while assuring rights and uses, and establish regulatory procedures. The Commission on Water Resource Management (Commission) is the entity fulfilling this responsibility through administration of the State Water Code, Chapter 174C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which was adopted by the legislature in 1987. Operating procedures are governed by administrative rules, which are Chapters 167 to 171, Hawaii Administrative Rules.
The Commission has jurisdiction over land-based surface water and ground water resources, but not coastal waters. The protection and management of these water resources is carried out through resource assessments, planning, and regulation. Generally, the Commission is responsible for addressing water quantity issues, while water quality issues are under the purview of the State Department of Health.
The Commission has regularly scheduled meetings, but on its own motion or on petition or application of any interested person or persons or an agency of the state or county government hold proceedings as necessary from time to time for the purpose of:
- Obtaining information necessary or helpful in the determination of its policies or actions;
- Formulating its own rules;
- Carrying out its duties and responsibilities including the designation of water management areas, the permitting of water uses, and the enforcement of rules, orders and legal standards and obligations.
For specific reference to the role of the Commission, please see the Hawaii Administrative Rules, §13-167-22, Proceedings before the Commission.
Prior to the end of a Commissioner's term, the Commission's selection process, as descibed above, is initated. A Nominating Committee is formed and a statewide public notice is issued to solicit nominations. At that time, an application form will be made available here and interested applicants will need to submit their resumes and applications to the Nominating Committee by a deadline date specified in the public notice.
Deadline to Apply: Applications should be postmarked no later than February 8, 2013.Please submit completed application forms to:
Commission on Water Resource Management
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 227
Honolulu, HI 96813
Fax: (808) 587-0219
Attn: Katie Ersbak