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Letters 3-17-2013

Water Commission

A conflict of interest and a conflict of uses

The state Water Commission, a board appointed by the governor, controls water allotments for all the islands.

Just recently, Monsanto was narrowly turned down in its requests for more water on Maui and Oahu in two separate decisions from the Water Commission.

There will be two new water commissioners appointed soon by the Water Commission Nominating Committee. So, if someone friendly to Monsanto were appointed to the board then the company would get its new allotments.

To put things in perspective, the County of Maui controls only about 9 percent of the water on the island of Maui – Big Ag controls the rest.

There maybe a conflict of interest in the Water Commission Nominating Committee selection process.

First there is Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, who received $500 in Monsanto contributions in 2012 and requested (prime suspect) Sen. Malama Solomon, a Democrat from the Fourth District on the Big Island (and sad to say my senator) and recipient of $2,000 of Monsanto campaign donations; for guidance in appointing a member of the nominating committee (Solomon is chairwoman of the Water and Land committee).

Solomon choose a Monsanto lobbyist — singing his praises for having “expertise.”

A petition with more than 7,000 signatures was presented to Senate President Kim asking her to rescind her appointment of Monsanto lobbyist Alan Takemoto to the Water Commission Nominating Committee.

“It is inexplicable that with respected UH professors, literally hundreds of trained geologists and watershed experts, that the Senate would appoint a partisan, multinational corporate lobbyist instead,” said, petition organizer, Karen Chun.

“Here on Maui, we have rationing and our county controls only about 9 percent of our water —with a lion’s share being taken by large agricultural corporations like Monsanto. Ag corporations know how to use water — they are not experts in the skills required to manage and protect water supplies.”

Residents may not be aware that Monsanto and other genetically modified organism and agricultural chemical companies have picked Hawaii for their experiments.

The thinking is that if something goes horribly wrong, the effects will be confined on a small chain of islands 2,400 miles from any continent.

The petition is located at

Tlaloc Tokuda