What Rules Maui Water, Law or Sugar?05/28/2010
The debate over Maui's water has been cast as the last sugar plantation struggling to stay afloat versus family farms seeking to sustain their lifestyle. And that's definitely true, at one level.
But the case is about more than closing the book on the plantation era or restoring Native Hawaiian culture to its place atop society.
Rather than being the final chapter of one century-long battle, a decision by the Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management, expected soon, will start to answer bigger questions for the islands' future: Who ultimately controls this invaluable public resource, and how is that power used?