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Water and Power in West Maui

September 17, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

WATER AND POWER IN WEST MAUI book cover, showing an arid dry land black and white picture on the top and thriving green kalo on the bottom, with Jonathan L. Scheuer and Bianca K. Isaki headshots on the bottom and top left of the right side

Meet authors Bianca Isaki and Jonathan Scheuer who will read from their book with question and answer to follow.

Water and Power in West Maui draws our attention to the ways control of water resources, in West Maui and across Hawai‘i, has been key to the creation and perpetuation of political and economic power and privilege. This volume, by two leading advocates for progressive change in Hawai‘i, highlights what has been only touched on by previous volumes on water law or land tenure in the islands, and with specific attention to the environment, history, and communities of West Maui.

Individually, chapters on physical and legal infrastructure are invaluable stand-alone guides to key aspects of water management in the state and this area. For instance, one chapter covers recent efforts by the state to restore stream flows, a topic that is otherwise little addressed in published literature. This volume also dives into the inherent failures and unsustainability of the state of Hawai‘i’s management of groundwater by “sustainable yield,” which will have profound implications for the future of Hawai‘i water supplies in a changing climate.

As a whole, with clear explanations of historical transformation and ongoing bureaucratic practice, the authors identify liberating paths forward. Rather than another treatise on how past bad practices set up a beleaguered present, they suggest how water and power in West Maui and Hawai‘i can be better shared for an enduring prosperity for the diverse people within these communities.

Bianca K. Isaki is a writer, solo legal practitioner, community activist, and a director of the North Beach-West Maui Benefit Fund. She received her PhD from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Political Science for research on Asian settler colonialism and plantation labor organizing, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, returned to Hawai‘i to teach Women’s Studies, and then graduated summa cum laude from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Jonathan L. Scheuer helps organizations manage environmental conflict, seeking sustainable prosperity for the people and resources involved.

This program will be of interest to scholars and historians, and a must-read for practitioners in water management and control, and contemporary environmental and indigenous struggles in Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for you, our patrons, and our staff. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting and/or participating in library programming. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By visiting and/or participating in library programming, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. Please help keep each other healthy.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service or other accommodation due to a disability, please contact the library 7 days prior to the program date. We will make every attempt to fulfill all requests for accommodations. All programs are subject to change.


September 17, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Recommended for

Adults, Families, Teens


Maui – Lahaina
680 Wharf St
Lahaina, HI 96761 United States
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