Reverse osmosis creates no added water – still depletes aquifers
In response to the July 28 front-page piece on the pending Honua’ula/Wailea 670 project, specifically its water source:
Reverse osmosis technology is not a magic bullet. It will not create more water for South Maui. It will pump the largest volumes of water ever taken from two mauka sections of the regional brackish Kamaole aquifer for conversion to potable standards.
Taking into account current coastal irrigation wells, the proposed daily extractions may exceed the daily flux, or flow, within this aquifer based on 2006 numbers published by the USGS. If that occurs, inland-directed saltwater incursion will begin at the aquifer interface and first be manifested in coastal irrigation wells.
Most likely that area would extend from Wailea north to near Kalama Park in Kihei. Thus, the Kamaole aquifer will become more saline, beginning at the coast.
Reverse osmosis turns brackish or saline water into a potable commodity. The process always has side effects. It is typically employed when pre-existing potable supplies are at or near exhaustion.
Clogged Roads Impact Tourism
I am concerned about how major South Maui developments would affect visitor satisfaction, especially the proposed 1100 unit Makena Resort Development. I spoke to the Maui Visitor’s Bureau and they estimated that 70 to 80 cents out of every dollar on Maui is dependent on tourism.
According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism overall visitor satisfaction for US visitors was down 13% from one year prior to their most recent report. I then asked why. I was subsequently told that “traffic is not discussed or asked anywhere in the report.”
I then called five major hotels in Wailea and Makena to speak to the concierge. I asked, “What is the most common complaint from the visitors pertaining to Maui?” At the Grand Wailea, the Four Seasons, the Renaissance and the Marriott Wailea Resort all of the Concierges said “Traffic.” The Marriott concierge added without prompting, “It’s frequent. It’s a big one.” The only variation was the Maui Prince concierge who said “Not enough roads.”
With the Piilani at maximum capacity, it seems like a risky idea to approve upzoning for developments involving thousands of more cars.