You need to have Flash Player installed to see the slideshow


Where does Maui's fresh water come from?  Rain, fog, and forests.

Most of our islands' stream headwaters lie within the forest belt.  An ancient Hawaiian proverb says "Hahai no ka ua ula", meaning "the rain always follows the forest".  It's true.  That's why we have cloud forests and rainforests, but not rainplains or raincoasts.

The anatomy of a native Hawaiian forest is especially well designed to catch, hold, and release rain and fog, providing you with the water you drink.  Rain and fog water is released slowly into the ecosystem, cleaned by percolation through soil or by rapidly flowing streams and falls. 

The key here is slow.  Heavy rainfalls not buffered by thick multi-layered canopies like a native forest will cause flooding and erosion.  The water quickly ends up in the ocean, taking with it soil and debris.  In this scenario, it bypasses your faucet and garden hose too.