I am committed to preserving and protecting Maui County’s water resources. We must follow sustainable water policy guidelines to support ecological needs while meeting the requirements of regional economic growth, supporting high-quality jobs, increasing housing affordability, enhancing tourism, and maintaining a high quality of life that includes recreational opportunities and vital habitats.

Water is essential to our everyday life.

From the mountains to our shores and in between – what we do to our land affects our water quality. Whether its farming, housing, recreation or business – water is essential to our everyday life.

Maintaining our water resources and keeping our water safe and clean are a priority.


Miconia is a fast growing weedy tree that reaches 13-50′ in height. It has large leaves that are dark green and felty above, with a distinctive “leaf within a leaf” vein pattern. The underside of the leaves are purple. It produces dark purple fruits that are 1/3″ in diameter and contain hundreds of seeds.

There is a real threat to our water supply in East Maui. I’ve actually seen the problems firsthand. Miconia over-growth must be addressed.

Claire Kamalu Carroll

Miconia trees grow quickly and close together, shading out nearly all other forest plants with their large oval leaves. It also has a shallow root system and can cause increased erosion and landslides. The plant smothers our water ways and streams. This invasive species can rapidly and irreversibly alter ecosystems and
degrade the value of ecosystem services.

Damages to watershed functions are expected from dense stands of Miconia. The hydrological properties of Miconia suggest that there may be a significant change in the water balance, with an increase in runoff and a potential reduction in groundwater recharge.

The potential threats to Hawaiian biodiversity and forested watersheds have rendered Miconia a priority weed in Hawaii. Miconia quickly matures, producing fruit after three to four years and flowers and fruits several times a year. Plants produce ten to twenty million seeds a year, which can remain viable for twelve years and possibly longer. Birds and animals (such as rats) spread miconia seed long distances. Seeds, about the size of a sand grain, are unintentionally spread by humans and hitchhike on clothes, boots, gear, pets, and contaminated vehicles, equipment, and soil.

Technology billionaire Larry Ellison developed a pioneering hydroponic greenhouse farm on Lanai. Some vegetables are ready for the first commercial harvest to initially serve Lanai. Hydroponics provide a sustainable food supply while preserving water use.

Hydroponics, or growing plants in a nutrient solution root medium, is a growing area of commercial food production and also is used for home food production by hobbyists.

Hydroponics Saves Water

Hydroponic Plants can grow with just 5-10% of the water that’s need when growing with soil. This is of enormous benefit in areas with scarce water resources and is a major environmental benefit of hydroponic cultivation.

Hydroponics capitalizes on recirculated water, where plants absorb what they need, and run-off is captured and returned to the system. The only water that’s lost is from leaks and evaporation, but an efficient setup will minimize these if possible.

Some hydroponic systems are using even more technology to reduce water waste even further. The reality is, that of all the water that plants take in through their roots, 95% of this is transpired into the air.

“Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime.
The health of our waters is the principal
measure of how we live on the land.”
– Luna Leopold

As a result, hydroponics consumes about 80-90% less water compared to the cultivation in soil. Unnecessary over-pouring or unnecessary evaporation over the soil is prevented.

If you have any questions about Maui County water or any other issue, please contact me.

Paid for by Friends of Claire Carroll, PO Box 164, Hana, HI 96713. Copyright 2020.

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