Thank you to everyone who provided comments specific to your individual areas of work and involvement with regards to collectively shaping the definition of an agricultural water consumer.
As a result of the continued dialogue, we were successful in bringing the bill back to the Council's Water Resources (WR) Committee for more discussion to ensure a fair and equitable definition for all ranges of agriculture activity in Maui County.
This is to update you that the WR Committee met yesterday on 06/01/10, and while nothing was passed out of committee, there appears to be a consensus to define the income portion of the definition from between $1,000 - $5,000.
Furthermore, a definition for community gardens has been added, but will most likely be amended to include more specifics. For example, the Water Director recommended a specific area of 22,000 sq. ft. or ½ acre and a specific number of ten participants be included in the definition. The Director, however, did not include a basis for this recommendation, so further justification will be needed in this area. The other entity recognized in the current draft is the non-profit entity.
One area that was raised in testimony by a federal agency is the inclusion of subsistence activity for food and fiber provided to Maui County. We will need to work this factor into the language of the bill - again to provide fair and equal access to all levels of agriculture.
As a side comment, the previous draft bill that included a minimum revenue amount of $10,000, was noted as being in conflict with a 1975 Federal definition of a farm, and the 2008 Farm Bill guidelines which supports farmers whose annual revenue is a minimum of $1,000.00.
If you would like to receive a copy of the new bill draft or the 2007 National Agriculture Statistics Survey for Maui County, please leave me a message with your email address and I will forward it to you as soon as possible.
Sol P. Kaho`ohalahala