Beneficial Uses of Surface Water in Lihue

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Grove Farm developed and continues to maintain a series of irrigation systems, dating back to the plantation era. These sustainable water systems are invaluable to our community by supplying much needed irrigation and drinking water for Kaua’i's farms and communities.

The Waiahi Surface Water Treatment Plant processes up to 3 million gallons of potable water per day, servicing nearly 15,000 residents. This critical source of drinking water utilizes water from the Kapaia Reservoir via the Hanamaulu Ditch System.

In 2017, Grove Farm completed $1.1 million in repairs on the 100-year-old hand dug Kapaia Tunnel which feeds the Kapaia Reservoir. Check out that story here.

Grove Farm has 65 agricultural tenants in the Lihu'e area that benefit from the water system. These lessees cultivate vegetables, fruit, sod, native plants, and even algae on 3,800 acres of productive agricultural lands. Livestock, such as cattle and sheep, are raised there too. Some of our farmers' stories are covered here. This water system can also deliver water to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) in Wailua, as well as to the State's Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) lands located in mauka of the Kalepa Mountain ridge.

Another use of this important water system is to provide non-potable water — irrigation water — to critical government locations, including the Lihue Gateway near the airport, the Kaua’i Police Department’s headquarters, the State of Hawaii Judiciary complext, and Kaua’i Community College. Non-potable water is also delivered to the Vidinha Stadium area, where youth soccer and football league games are played year-round. 

The water system enables both visitors and locals alike to engage in ecotourism activities.  Kauai Backcountry Adventures (KBA) conducts inner tubing experiences through these waterways and guests can float down these important routes to learn more about how important it is to develop and maintain sustainable water to build a Sustainable Kaua’i!