About the Koke'e and Kekaha Ditch Systems
(from the Earthjustice legal filing)
In the early 1900s, having impaired its initial groundwater wells from overuse, Kekaha Sugar turned to develop Waimea River surface water. Kekaha Sugar completed construction of the Kekaha Ditch in 1907. In 1923, Kekaha Sugar expanded the system’s length from 20 to 28 miles, its capacity from 45 to 50 mgd, and its average flow from 30 to 35 mgd. The Kekaha Ditch diverted flows in the middle reaches of canyon and transported the water to the makai lands in the Kekaha-Mana Plain.
From 1923 to 1926, Kekaha Sugar constructed the Koke‘e Ditch. The system comprised 21 miles of open channel flows and tunnels, a capacity of 55 mgd, and an average flow under Kekaha Sugar of around 13-15 mgd. The Koke‘e Ditch diverted various headwater tributaries in the northern, high- elevation region and delivered the water to the plantation’s mauka lands to the west of the river.
To learn more about the current management of the ditch system and Waimea River waters by the private group, Kekaha Agriculture Association (KAA, as ag land tenant and ditch manager) and Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC, an entity of the Dept. of Agriculture and landlord of KAA), click here.