College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
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Hawaii Water Quality Extension Program
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Natural Resources Extension

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Hawaii is a member of the Southwest States and Pacific Islands Water Quality Coordination Team

Hawaii’s component of the Regional Water Quality Research and Extension Coordination
Principal Investigator: Carl I. Evensen, Professor (, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Funding Source: subcontract with Region IX Water Quality Coordination Grant
Project Duration: October 2004—August 2009

The objective of this project is to improve water quality management through educational knowledge and extension programming that emerges from a research base. As a collaborative partner in the Southwest States and Pacific Islands Regional Water Quality Program, the Hawaii Web site is a product of this effort. It is a “living” site that will be updated and expanded on as the region continues to develop and share new and existing management techniques, financial resources, and educational programs.
Addressing Rainwater Catchment System Issues Through Public Outreach, Water Conservation, and Resource and Infrastructure Development
Principal Investigator: Patricia S. H. Macomber, MPH, Education Specialist (, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM), College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Funding Source: This University of Hawaii project is funded by the USDA CSREES Smith-Lever Act. 
Project Duration: October 2005-September 2009

This five-year project addresses water quality and quantity concerns for people dependent on rainwater catchment systems for their domestic water supply. Community education and outreach is a fundamental and critical function of this program, which includes having a specialist available to respond to questions and concerns. This project also addresses having a healthy community which contributes to productivity and economic development.  Last but not least, this program addresses greater harmony between rural communities and the environment, natural resource management, drought prevention and mitigation. 

Some of the objectives of this project include: starting a stakeholder association to empower and enhance local communities’ effectiveness in dealing with rainwater catchment issues; bringing national and international expertise to the islands to share knowledge; and providing relevant and useful literature and reference materials to the communities.
Hawaii County logoAssisting Rainwater Catchment Systems Users in Hawaii County
Principal Investigator: Patricia S. H. Macomber, MPH, Education Specialist (, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM), College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Funding Source: County of Hawaii, Mayor Harry Kim
Project Duration: May 2007-October 2008

The objective of this project is to educate the people of Hawaii County about rainwater catchment health and safety.  This is accomplished by developing and distributing education materials such as brochures, a service directory, a website, and scheduling and publicizing hands-on workshops and tradeshows with experts.  In addition, this grant enables future planning toward the integrated use of rainwater catchment as a sustainable environmental practice by creating a best management practices group of architects, water quality testers, rainwater catchment suppliers, and government representatives.
Completed Projects
Hanalei Watershed, Kauai, Hawaii2003 - "Evaluation of the Performance of Riparian Fencing on Stream Bank Stability and Stream Water Quality" and "Regional Approaches to Water Protection from Non point Sources of Microbial Contaminants": Researchers from the University of Nevada and University of California, Davis and the Nevada Bureau of Health Protection Services tested the effectiveness of several management practices, including stream buffers and sedimentation ponds, with respect to microbial loading. Researchers at the University of Hawaii evaluated the effectiveness of buffer strips on preventing microbial and nutrient movement from a grazed area of tropical setting. Together, the two coordinated projects evaluated the effectiveness of and need for management practices in very diverse climatic, vegetative, and soil zones (alpine and tropical).
lagoon at a dairy in Waianae, Oahu 2002 - 2005 Land Application of Livestock Manures in Hawaii and the American Pacific: Management of livestock manures and effluent is a serious concern for Hawaii and the American Pacific due to limited land for disposal and the need to reduce environmental impacts. Research is required to determine how nutrients from manures become available to crops and how these nutrients are retained, released, and utilized when applied to tropical soils. These research findings were incorporated into practical experiences via classroom instruction to help encourage farmers to treat livestock manures as a valuable resource rather than as a waste. A progress report is available for this project (pdf file-12 kb). PowerPoint presentations on compost and manure management from the 2004 Agriculture Conference are also available for viewing on the Hawaii's Regional Water Quality web site. Click here to be taken to a new a window outside of this web site.
1996 to 2000 - Papaya nutrient management by plant tissue and soil analysis for several soils in Hawaii
1994 to 1999 - Water quality and nutrient management for irrigated agriculture in Hawaii
1998 to 1999 - Added value compost cooperative
Statewide livestock nutrient management education project

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Cooperative Extension Service programs, conducted in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, are provided to the people of Hawaii without regard to race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The University is an equal opportunity / affirmative action institution.