Law & Regulations
In 1978, the State of Hawaii's Constitutional Convention identified the the State's "obligation to protect, control and regulate the use of Hawaii's water resources for the benefit of its people." Under Article XI, Section 7, of the State Constitution, "The legislature shall provide for a water resources agency which, as provided by law, shall set overall water conservation, quality and use policies; define beneficial and reasonable uses; protect ground and surface water resources, watersheds and natural stream environments; establish criteria for water use priorities while assuring appurtenant rights and existing correlative and riparian uses and establish procedures for regulating all uses of Hawaii's water resources."
View of Waikiki and Honolulu. Hawaii's growing population has resulted in greater competition for water resources between municipal, military, agricultural, private, environmental, and traditional water demands.
Thus, the idea for the State of Hawaii's Commission on Water Resource Management emerged. However, the Commission was not established until 1987 when the Hawaii State Legislature enacted the State Water Code, Chapter 174C of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. Under the Code, Chapters 13-167 to 13-171 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules rules specify and clarify definitions, procedures, requirements, etc., required by, but not specified by law. The Commission establishes and operates under these rules through periodic updating and public participation based on the experience of implementing the Water Code. The Hawaii Well Construction and Pump Installation Standards, in accordance with §174C-86, HRS and §13-168-14, HAR, provide additional guidance for the construction, installation, alteration, and abandonment of wells and pumps statewide.
Diversified agriculture on Oahu. Once the site of vast sugarcane fields, the decline of the sugar industry has opened the door to diversified agriculture. Water remains a valuable commodity on the Ewa plains.
The State Water Code, Chapter 174C, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) was enacted into law by the 1987 Hawaii State Legislature for the purpose of protecting Hawaii's water resources. It provides for the legal basis and establishment of the Commission on Water Resource Management and its authorities and responsibilities. Click on the link below to view the State Water Code in Acrobat Reader.
Accordingly, two years from the effective date of the State Water Code, conflicting chapters within the Hawaii Revised Statutes were repealed. These chapters are referenced below.
Administrative rules specify and clarify definitions, procedures, requirements, etc., required by, but not specified, in the law (174C). The Commission establishes and operates under these rules through periodic updating and public participation based on the experience of implementing the Water Code.
In July 1987, the Hawaii State Legislature passed the State Water Code, Chapter 174C Hawaii Revised Statutes, for the purpose of protecting Hawaii's water resources. In conjunction, with the adoption of the State Water Code, the Commission also needed to enact new administrative rules within a two-year time period. Listed below are the repealed and current Hawaii Administrative Rules.