Community Engagement

Planning in Context

Planning for Hawai‘i’s future requires connecting community, place, and science. The ‘Ike Wai Community Engagement component aims to understand research and resources needed to help make informed management and planning decisions for the future of Hawai‘i in the face of on-the-ground issues and needs.

Along with the impacts of climate change, increasing energy costs, and food sustainability concerns, water security has also become a statewide priority in Hawai‘i. ʻIke Wai to aims to understand the context of these pressures through community engagement and produce resources that align with statewide strategic planning efforts.

Serving the community with science towards sustainability

Our mission is focused on:

1) partnering with communities and agencies as a trusted source of data, expertise, and scientific evidence, and

2) developing a new, resilient knowledge of the water system for policy makers that is based on data and models with long-term planning in

We work with the core value of Pono (what is right) to bring science and data to support decisions and communities in fairness, not advocating for one side or the other. We are committed to serving the indigenous, underserved, and underrepresented in our community. To that, ‘Ike Wai adds its commitment to island sustainability: the idea that po‘e (people), ‘aina (land), and wai (water) are intimately linked in a cycle of life unique to a community. In order to achieve our vision, we need to value the ecological context, for it can inform and influence both the science and practice of ‘Ike Wai.

View our Values Statement

Download our Values Statement (pdf).

Examples of our work

Through Stakeholder Engagement, ‘Ike Wai has developed a network of stakeholder and community relationships that further the relevance and resilience of project products. This includes:
• Developing working relations with key water management agencies for data sharing and facilitation of decision-support development;
• Gaining approval from various landowners for site and well access to conduct scientific field research;
• Consulting community and agencies to inform future land use scenarios for hydrologic modeling;
• Understanding water governance and policy implementation in Hawai‘i through applied research in partnership with Ulupono Initiative;
• Improving collaboration, communication, outreach, and education across the community.