Partners inspect watershed project

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The Waiakea Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Hawaii County Department of Public Works Highways Division and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, recently conducted its annual inspection tour of the Wailuku/Alenaio Wathershed Project.

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The Waiakea Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Hawaii County Department of Public Works Highways Division and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, recently conducted its annual inspection tour of the Wailuku/Alenaio Wathershed Project.

The watershed project developed in the mid-1970s consisted of diversions Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6. It was designed to provide flood protection to the agricultural and residential areas above Hilo. In 1995, an emergency Conservation District Use Permit was granted and funded by FEMA to construct a berm between the Wailuku River and Nakakauila Gulch to prevent erosion and used as flood control.

Construction of this berm was intended to restore eroded land caused by a severe (500-year flood event) flood occurrence in August 1994 and to divert flood water protecting the affected Piihonua community, including the Piihonua Head Start Facility.

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Before the berm was constructed, the capacity of water that reached the Piihonua community literally moved homes off their foundation.

Members of the Waiakea Soil and Water Conservation District thank the directors and staff of partner groups and the Piihonua Community Association for their dedication, support and annual operations and maintenance of this watershed project.

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