WRRC 2023 Spring Seminar

March 10, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Zoom Meeting Add to Calendar

An Engineering Solution to Restoring Wai: Kānewai Spring and Kalauhaʻihaʻi Fishpond

by 1Chris Cramer and 2Hina Ioane

1Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center and 2Chaminade University

The 1990s widening of Kalanianaʻole Highway caused an environmental catastrophe by cutting the freshwater flow to Kalauhaʻihaʻi Fishpond in Niu, Oʻahu and Maunalua Bay. Nearby Kānewai Spring in Kuliʻouʻou was also severely damaged. In 2007, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center (MFHC) began working to return freshwater flow through these springs to the nearshore. Life-giving pūnāwai (water springs) were once plentiful and celebrated in Hawaiian moʻolelo. Today most are destroyed. Finding a lack of documentation, MFHC conducted oral histories to map the artesian water system.

Kānewai Spring is currently imperiled by a development project at its artesian source. However, water quality data gathered by Chaminade University students found it still able to support a range of native species. These same students found hypoxic conditions at the Kalauha‘iha‘i Fishpond. Unfortunately, their findings indicate Kalauhaʻihaʻi can no longer host native fish and aquatic species.

Systemic failure to protect artesian water resources has allowed them to be destroyed. In 2023 to 2024, MFHC is collaborating with the State DLNR Engineering Branch which is scheduling repairs to the mauka to makai water flow through a trenchless drilling project. This innovative approach offers promise for many communities with ruined water resources.

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Event Sponsor
WRRC, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Keri Kodama, 956-3174, kodamak8@hawaii.edu

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