Watershed Management

Establishes a watershed management trust fund to support the
maintenance and enhancement of important watershed management
areas, amends state water commission powers and duties with
regard to the fund and watershed management.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           990
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that Hawaii's water is the
 2 most important resource of Hawaii's forested lands.  Mountain
 3 watersheds are the primary source of water for the islands'
 4 urban, industrial, commercial, and agricultural areas.  Forested
 5 watersheds reduce the rains' erosive effects, prevent soil
 6 erosion, increase infiltration into the soil, strip moisture from
 7 the clouds, and help maintain a consistent and dependable source
 8 of surface water and ground water.
 9      There is no other part of the United States where the
10 relationship between water and forest cover are more closely
11 interwoven than Hawaii.  This fact was recognized almost a
12 century ago by the state government and business interests.  In
13 1903, a forest management program was created with a mandate to
14 protect sources of water supply and to have care and control of
15 the forest reserves.  It is a tribute to that foresight and
16 management that Hawaii has forests and water supplies today.
17 Management activities such as protective zoning, fencing, control
18 of feral animals, reforestation, and fire protection have reduced
19 excessive erosion, soil compaction, and loss of vegetative cover. 

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 1      However, the resources currently available for forest
 2 management are not in balance with the value of the water that is
 3 being harvested from our watersheds.  There is a need to
 4 establish a direct connection between the use of water and the
 5 funds needed to manage and sustain those resources.  The purpose
 6 of this Act is to create a watershed management trust fund whose
 7 moneys shall be utilized for watershed management activities by
 8 public and private entities to effect a positive impact on water
 9 quality and quantity and general watershed values within
10 designated important watershed management areas.                 
11      SECTION 2.  Chapter 174C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
12 amended by adding a new section to part V to be appropriately
13 designated and to read as follows:
14      "174C-    Watershed management trust fund; source of funds;
15 disposition of funds.  (a)  There is established within the state
16 treasury a special fund known as the watershed management trust
17 fund to be administered by the commission for the maintenance and
18 enhancement of important watershed management areas.
19      (b)  The commission shall report to the legislature annually
20 on the amount of moneys expended from the fund and the amount of
21 moneys accruing to the credit of the fund from the following
22 sources:
23      (1)  Revenues received from the counties as a watershed

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 1           surcharge levied on domestic water use;
 2      (2)  Federal grant moneys;
 3      (3)  Private contributions; and
 4      (4)  Legislative appropriations.
 5      (c)  The watershed management trust fund shall be held
 6 separate and apart from all other moneys, funds, and accounts in
 7 the state treasury; provided that the moneys received as deposits
 8 or contributions from the federal government or private entities
 9 shall be deposited and accounted for in accordance with the
10 conditions, if any, established by the federal government or
11 private entities.  Earnings on the investment of the assets of
12 the funds shall become a part of the fund.  Any balance in the
13 fund at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried forward to the
14 next fiscal year.
15      (d)  The watershed management trust fund shall be used and
16 expended for the following purposes:
17      (1)  To implement watershed maintenance and enhancement
18           projects within important watershed management areas,
19           including erosion prevention and control,
20           reforestation, exclusion of stock, and control of feral
21           animals;
22      (2)  To fund water and watershed resource monitoring
23           efforts, including stream and rainfall gauging, well

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 1           monitoring, and water quality studies; 
 2      (3)  To compensate the counties for revenue reductions due
 3           to property tax incentive programs that may be attached
 4           to watershed management properties; and
 5      (4)  To purchase or lease watershed easements or other
 6           agreements to enhance protection efforts in identified
 7           important watershed management areas.
 8      (e)  The counties may expend all moneys derived from county
 9 water bills and deposited in the watershed management trust fund
10 for approved best management practices within designated
11 important watershed management areas."
12      SECTION 3.  Section 174C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
13 amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted
14 and to read as follows
15      ""Important watershed management area" means a watershed
16 area, on public or private land, that contributes to domestic
17 water supplies, and in which public or private management
18 activities are needed to maintain and enhance the vegetative
19 cover and soil, retard rapid runoff of storm flows, prevent soil
20 erosion, and improve infiltration of water through the soil to
21 optimize recharge of the surface and groundwater supplies.  The
22 designation is a nonregulatory designation."
23      SECTION 4.  Section 174C-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is

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 1 amended to read as follows:
 2      "174C-5 General powers and duties.  The general
 3 administration of the state water code shall rest with the
 4 commission on water resource management.  In addition to its
 5 other powers and duties, the commission:
 6      (1)  Shall carry out topographic surveys, research, and
 7           investigations into all aspects of water use and water
 8           quality.
 9      (2)  Shall designate water management areas for regulation
10           under this chapter where the commission, after the
11           research and investigations mentioned in paragraph (1),
12           shall consult with the appropriate county council and
13           county water agency, and after public hearing and
14           published notice, finds that the water resources of the
15           areas are being threatened by existing or proposed
16           withdrawals of water.
17      (3)  Shall establish an instream use protection program
18           designed to protect, enhance, and reestablish, where
19           practicable, beneficial instream uses of water in the
20           State.
21      (4)  May contract and cooperate with the various agencies of
22           the federal government and with state and local
23           administrative and governmental agencies or private

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 1           persons.
 2      (5)  May enter, after obtaining the consent of the property
 3           owner, at all reasonable times upon any property other
 4           than dwelling places for the purposes of conducting
 5           investigations and studies, or enforcing any of the
 6           provisions of this code, being liable, however, for
 7           actual damage done.  If consent cannot be obtained,
 8           reasonable notice shall be given prior to entry.
 9      (6)  Shall cooperate with federal agencies, other state
10           agencies, county or other local governmental
11           organizations, and all other public and private
12           agencies created for the purpose of utilizing and
13           conserving the waters of the State, and assist such
14           organizations and agencies in coordinating the use of
15           their facilities and participate in the exchange of
16           ideas, knowledge, and data with such organizations and
17           agencies.  For this purpose the commission shall
18           maintain an advisory staff of experts.
19      (7)  Shall prepare, publish, and issue such printed
20           pamphlets and bulletins as the commission deems
21           necessary for the dissemination of information to the
22           public concerning its activities.
23      (8)  May appoint and remove agents and employees including

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 1           hearings officers, specialists, and consultants
 2           necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter and
 3           may be engaged by the commission without regard to the
 4           requirements of chapters 76 and 77 and section 78-1.
 5      (9)  May acquire, lease, and dispose of such real and
 6           personal property as may be necessary in the
 7           performance of its functions, including the acquisition
 8           of real property for the purpose of conserving and
 9           protecting water and water related resources as
10           provided in section 174C-14.
11     (10)  Shall identify, by continuing study, those areas of the
12           State where salt water intrusion is a threat to fresh
13           water resources and report its findings to the
14           appropriate county mayor and council and the public.
15     (11)  Shall provide such coordination, cooperation, or
16           approval necessary to the effectuation of any plan or
17           project of the federal government in connection with or
18           concerning the waters of the State.  The commission
19           shall approve or disapprove such federal plans or
20           projects on behalf of the State.  No other agency or
21           department of the State shall assume the duties
22           delegated to the commission under this paragraph,
23           except that the department of health shall continue to

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 1           exercise such powers vested in it with respect to water
 2           quality, and except that the department of business,
 3           economic development, and tourism shall continue to
 4           carry out its duties and responsibilities under chapter
 5           205A.
 6     (12)  Plan and coordinate programs for the development,
 7           conservation, protection, control, and regulation of
 8           water resources based upon the best available
 9           information, and in cooperation with federal agencies,
10           other state agencies, county or other local
11           governmental organizations, and other public and
12           private agencies created for the utilization and
13           conservation of water.
14     (13)  Shall catalog and maintain an inventory of all water
15           uses and water resources. 
16     (14)  Shall cooperate with federal agencies and county
17           organizations to identify important watershed
18           management areas.
19     (15)  Shall establish a watershed management trust fund to be
20           expended in cooperation with the counties in approved
21           public and private watershed management activities in
22           designated important watershed management areas.
23     (16)  Shall collect from the counties the watershed surcharge

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 1           on water use and deposit the moneys into the watershed
 2           management trust fund.
 3     (17)  Shall cooperate with the department of land and natural
 4           resources to draft, in consultation with the counties
 5           and other appropriate resource management entities, a
 6           list of best management practices."
 7      SECTION 6.  Each agency charged with carrying out this Act
 8 shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised
 9 Statutes, to implement the provisions of this Act by July 1,
10 2001.
11      SECTION 7.  New statutory material is underscored.
12      SECTION 8.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
14                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________