Serving
East Kauai's
Agricultural
Needs
 

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 water?
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 ditch?
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 at 821-2948.

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 each year?
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 the crews.

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.

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