Majuro, Marshall Islands

In our last e-Vine, we talked about climate change and its impact on Hawai’i. The correlation between declining trade wind days and our diminishing rainfall was alarming. We suggested storing captured runoff in reservoirs as a method to help conserve our precious resource.

More research on this issue reveals some ingenious water conservation solutions by our fellow Pacific Islanders. We’ll continue to share what we find.

Today we begin with Majuro. Part of the Marshall Islands, Majuro has no aquifers but it manages to sustain life. Roughly 50% of the approximate 30,000 residents rely on home rainwater catchments for their water. In times of low rainfall, reservoirs along the island’s 7,000 foot airstrip (not much longer than the one on Lanai) provides water for those with catchments.

On November 22, the Board of Land and Natural Resources passed new rules and fee assessments for dams and reservoirs. The cost of meeting the new rules and fees will be cost prohibitive for some of the reservoirs. Those reservoirs may be taken out of commission. Obviously public safety is the top priority, but it would be wise to take this new information on the declining rainfall trend into account. The decisions we make today may have long-term consequences.

Hawai’i’s agriculture industry organizations will be seeking financial support from the legislature this session to help maintain agricultural reservoirs. We will alert you on when this issue comes before the legislature. Go to: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/rules for more information on the rule changes.

Without an economical source of water there is no agriculture. We will jeopardize our ability to grow our own food.

Stay tuned. Your testimony may help determine the future viability of Hawai’i’s agriculture.

Lisa Asagi & Dan Nakasone
She grows food, co-founders

where to buy samento

Leave a Reply