174C-2 Declaration of policy. (a) It is recognized that the waters of the State are held for the benefit of the citizens of the State. It is declared that the people of the State are beneficiaries and have a right to have the waters protected for their use.

(b) There is a need for a program of comprehensive water resources planning to address the problems of supply and conservation of water. The Hawaii water plan, with such future amendments, supplements, and additions as may be necessary, is accepted as the guide for developing and implementing this policy.

(c) The state water code shall be liberally interpreted to obtain maximum beneficial use of the waters of the State for purposes such as domestic uses, aquaculture uses, irrigation and other agricultural uses, power development, and commercial and industrial uses. However, adequate provision shall be made for the protection of traditional and customary Hawaiian rights, the protection and procreation of fish and wildlife, the maintenance of proper ecological balance and scenic beauty, and the preservation and enhancement of waters of the State for municipal uses, public recreation, public water supply, agriculture, and navigation. Such objectives are declared to be in the public interest.

(d) The state water code shall be liberally interpreted to protect and improve the quality of waters of the State and to provide that no substance be discharged into such waters without first receiving the necessary treatment or other corrective action. The people of Hawaii have a substantial interest in the prevention, abatement, and control of both new and existing water pollution and in the maintenance of high standards of water quality.

(e) The state water code shall be liberally interpreted and applied in a manner which conforms with intentions and plans of the counties in terms of land use planning. [L 1987, c 45, pt of 2; am L 1999, c 197, 1]

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