FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. How much does delivery of the water cost?
Each year at the annual general meeting, the
members approve the coming year's budget, which determines the cost per
unit for water. The Cooperative operates on a break-even basis. This year
the cost is $120 for each one million gallon unit up to ten units. For
the eleventh unit and thereafter, the cost is $80/unit.
2. How do I calculate the million-gallon units
for membership enrollment? For the sake
of simplicity, at this time the Cooperative requires that for each acre
of irrigated land you sign up for one million-gallon unit. Because this
is an open ditch system, the water cannot be precisely measured as it
can be when piped. It may be true that you use less than a million gallons,
or more in some cases, to irrigate one acre, but it is a fair assessment
for the water supply which can be applied to all situations on our system.
3. How do I draw water from the conduits?
It is important that the integrity of the ditch
banks be maintained, as serious damage can result from digging through,
damming or otherwise interfering with the flow of the water. You should
meet with the Field Manager when enrolling in the system and work out
the best plan for you to tap into the ditch water. Acceptable methods
include pumping, siphon and diversion through a specially built gate.
4. What do I do with the runoff from the irrigation
It is important, a matter of law, actually,
that runoff from irrigating your property not flow into nearby streams.
If runoff is a problem, you will need to build a sump on your property
to allow the water to be absorbed into the ground.
5. What do I do if there is no water in the
Call the EKWUC management office at 821-2948.
6. Can the reservoirs always be kept at a
high level for appearance sake?
The purpose of the reservoirs is to keep the
ditches at a constant flow, modulating variations in diversion amount
and rainfall. It is, however, the intent of the Cooperative to keep both
Wailua and Upper Kapahi reservoirs in an attractive condition.
7. What do I do if I discover an emergency
condition with the system?
If the condition is a threat to life or property,
call 911 and notify the police, then call the EKWUC management office
8. How can I help with the system maintenance?
While the ditch crews are expected to keep the system in good working
order, you are always welcome to assist by clearing debris or controlling
weeds on the banks. Please contact the system management office to coordinate
and inform of your activities.
9. I'd like to put a culvert across the ditch,
who do I ask? Since the ditch is State
of Hawaii property, you have to contact the local office of the Department
of Land and Natural Resources at 274-3491 and speak with Mike Laureta
about any permanent alterations within the ditch right of way.
10. What is my part as a member of the Cooperative?
At the annual general meeting, all the members
of the Cooperative vote upon the annual budget and elect a Board of Directors.
Members have votes according to the number of units they are signed up
for. Thus if you have five units, you have five votes; if you have 100
units, you have 100 votes. There is, however, a limit of 40% of the total
votes cast on how many votes any one member can make. For the rest of
the year, the Board of Directors oversees the operation of the Cooperative
within the budget set at the meeting. If a need arises to alter the budget
or assessment for the year, then a special meeting of the membership will
be called to vote on the change.
11. What's in the rest of this booklet?
A system map, the Cooperative's Articles of
Incorporation, By-Laws and Rules make up the rest of the book. The Articles
and By-Laws are standard for Cooperatives, and similar to any corporate
articles and by-laws. Articles 15, 19, 20, 22 and 23 of the By-laws are
unique to a cooperative and explain how the Cooperative operates at cost.
If you'd like an explanation of these sections, contact the management
office. The Water Cooperative Rules, developed with the assistance of
the United States Department of Agriculture experts, explain how our system
is managed. We do recommend you read through the Rules.
12. Do I have to re-enroll in the Cooperative
Your commitment to the Cooperative continues from year to year unless
you give 60 days notice of withdrawal. If you do withdraw, you must still
pay the water charges assessed for the current year. The system management
will issue billing statements as required.
13. Who actually owns the ditch?
Nearly all of the system conduits are State-owned,
either because they are on large parcels of State land or because the
State owns a 15-foot wide right of way through private land. Because it
is State land, you need to allow passage of the Cooperative's managers
and work crews, and to not obstruct the right-of-way. In addition, there
are a few easements allowing access between the ends of tunnels which
pass under private property.
14. Can I fence across the ditch?
There is certainly a need to fence across the ditch to control access
or keep cattle and horses in. However, the Cooperative's personnel also
have to access the ditchlines. You should talk with the Field Manager
about fences crossing the ditch and decide upon the easiest way for access
which provides the control you need and still allows for easy access to
15. Can my cattle access the ditch?
Cattle can be very destructive to ditch banks, and it is much preferred
that water be drawn from the ditch for the cattle. If your cattle need
water, meet with the Field Manager to work out the best solution. It is
a part of the Cooperative rules that cattle not be allowed direct access
to any of the ditches.