About 50 percent of Hawaii's water supply comes from ground water sources. Ground water, which is also used for agricultural, industrial, and domestic purposes, is the principal source of municipal water supplies in Hawaii. Consequently, protecting the quality and quantity of ground water throughout the State is essential to Hawaii's future well being.
The Commission on Water Resource Management uses regulatory controls to implement its policies and Hawaii Water Plan requirements for well development and water use. Regulations are also used to protect ground water quantity and quality, optimize ground water availability, and obtain maximum reasonable-beneficial uses. We rely on a permit system to apply and implement regulations concerning well development and water use.
In making decisions on permit applications, we look to the Hawaii Water Plan for guidance. Therefore, the regulations also help to implement the counties' long-range plans and policies regarding land and water use. The regulations are also aimed at promoting hydrologic data gathering by requiring specific data to be collected at permitted well sites and submitted to the Commission. In turn, this helps to assure wise decision-making in the future based on new and better information.