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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Water panel to consider East Maui water next week

Associated Press

The state water commission plans to meet next week to consider a petition to restore water to 19 East Maui streams.

The meeting is due to be held Tuesday at the Paia Community Center.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar has been diverting water from the streams for over 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 alive.

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