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Water and the Law in Hawaiʻi

This book provides an intellectual and legal framework for understanding both the past and future of Hawaiʻi's freshwater resources. It covers not only the kānāwai (laws) governing the balancing act between preservation and use, but also the science of aquifers and streams and the customs and traditions practiced by ancient and present-day Hawaiians on the ʻāina (land) and in the wai (water).

In placing Hawai'i’s water law in the context of its historical development, the author condenses an enormous amount of information on traditional Hawaiian social structure and mythology. His analysis and explanation of the Hawai'i Supreme Court decisions on water rights pose difficult questions and reveal the Court’s at times defective reasoning by referring readers to original source material. He is the first author to explain fully how water use permits will play out in a variety of circumstances that may arise in the future, and he discusses the interrelationship between the State Water Code and the common law on water rights, which few people understand or are aware of.

Water and the Law is a vital contribution to understanding water law in Hawai'i. It will prove invaluable to students of the subject and will appeal to those with an interest in cultural anthropology, planning, Hawaiian history, and political science.

Lawrence H. Miike, M.D., J.D.

Hardcover, 265 pp.

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