1978: Windward Taro Planters File Suit Over Water Tap

Windward Taro Planters File Suit Over Water Tap

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On August 15, 1977, Charles and Paul Reppun, Rachel Hall, Clifford Wong, Seiyu and Robert Nakata went to court to ask Circuit Judge Arthur S. K. Fong to grant an injunction to direct the Board of Water Supply to stop diverting 600,000 gallons of water from the Waihee Stream.  The Board of Water Supplyʻs actions were depleting the farmer's wetland taro that needed a higher yield of cool water to grow. The Board of Water Supply complied as they were drawing water from other valleys and wells.  The Board serves the urban dwellers' water needs.

The Reppun et al case drew upon the McBryde Sugar co. vs. Robinson case to justify their right to water, just as much as the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. However, this case would again be tested as urban dwellers' water needs compete with a rising movement to revitalize taro farming for its cultural and health significance.