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Park Seeking Greater Protection for Water Resources

September 13, 2013, 4:24 PM HST
* Updated September 16, 10:28 AM
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The National Park Service is seeking additional protection for anchialine ponds and other water features at Kaloko-Honokahau National Historic Park.

The agency today filed a petition with the state Commission on Water Resource Management asking it to designate the Keauhou Aquifer of North Kona as a “Water Management Area” for groundwater.

Wells planned for water management areas come under heightened scrutiny for possible impacts to the public interest.

Park officials say development that affects the aquifer could have negative impacts on the parks’ anchialine ponds, fishponds, tide pools and the near-shore environment.

“The continued health and existence of these biological resources depend on the continued flow of clean, abundant groundwater from mauka (upland) areas within the aquifer system,” the park said in a statement issued today.

A plan to protect water-dependent cultural and natural resources at the park still hasn’t been developed despite six years of effort by the water commission, park officials said.

“Given the sensitivity and importance of these resources and importance of water to all stakeholders, including the community living in this area, proactive management of groundwater withdrawals is urgently needed,” the statement said.

The water commission will review the petition for the establishment of a water management area. The review will help it to determine whether to hold a public hearing in the area to receive input from interested parties.

Kaloko-Honokohau Historic National Park is located about three miles north of Kailua-Kona.

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