Waiohuli Watershed

We need to respect and protect the Waiohuli Watershed. Our watershed is the lifeblood of the land. It is the sum total of the ways that the water moves through the land and flows to the sea. Water touches all parts of the landscape and our lives. It connects all of our activities, endeavors, our history, and our culture. Water is life.

Ola i ka Wai: Water is Life

The Waiohuli watershed is part of the Kula Moku land division of South Maui. The watershed is fed by streams and rainwater falling on the higher elevations and mid-levels, and local rainfall closer to the coast. The water flows downhill in underground streams and rivers to the ocean at an average of 1300 feet per day. Heavy rains upcountry can also bring flash floods, down ephemeral streams, and cause problems like flooding especially at the Flood plain near the ocean. Floodwaters can accumulate in the lowlands and back up causing rising water that can flood homes, stop traffic and even sweep cars and homes into the ocean.

This watershed is an interconnected area running from mauka to makai that touches cultural, natural, and recreational assets and activities. Water flows from high to low, and with it connects everything. The impacts of stormwater for example in the higher elevations can have a dramatic effect on all the areas below them. Features of this area include:  

  • Waiohuli Ahupua`a
  • Hawaiian trails run through these areas.
  • Underground water, multiple springs (3+) at Kihei beach/Waipuilani park
  • Springs and subterranean water flows, connect remnant wetlands. 
  • Waiohuli Fish Ponds – loko kuapā, archeological sites.
  • Local nearshore lagoon is a traditional fishing ground.
  • Local shoreline used for recreation, swimming, diving, surfing, etc.
  • In ancient times, Kalepolepo was a thriving fishing village that spanned across three Ahupuaa. Kaonoulu, Waiohuli and Keokea. It was well fit for aquaculture and was chosen from prime locations for (at least) three royal fishponds. 
  • Low-lying wetlands need to be studied for the existence of archeological artifacts, heiaus, shrines, habitations, and Loko Wai (freshwater ponds) that may have been covered over due to siltification.

We need to stop the destruction of the watershed, its streams, gulches, and springs. Say no to building on these features and protect the natural system that we all depend on for life and the protection of our environment.