Pohoiki improvements urged

State Sen. Russell Ruderman and state Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, both Democrats who represent Puna, are requesting $250,000 which would fund a feasibility study for a designated swimming area at Pohoiki.

They are also requesting $200,000 to fund a feasibility study for a harbor or port at Kapoho Bay.

“Pohoiki improvements urged”
Hawaii Tribune-Herald, February 10, 2017, by Kirsten Johnson

What is a PSIP (Power Supply Improvement Plan)?

Their most recent power supply improvement plan, or PSIP, includes how to gather 100 percent of energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind and water by 2045 — a goal required by state law.

… Petersen said the best thing Hawaii could do “is tap into geothermal energy. … It’s quick, available and relatively cheap heat energy from volcanoes … “

“What is a PSIP?”
Hawaii Tribune-Herald, March 27, 2017, by Jeff Hansel

Maui Brush Fire may have Damaged a Well Site

Gusty winds and steep terrain contributed to the rapid spread of a brush fire today along a hillside in Happy Valley in Wailuku, Maui.

… fire crews found the blaze moving dense brush and threatening homes on Mokuhau Road, Maika Street and Maunalei Place.

The fire was brought under control by 7:30 p.m. Fire officials estimated that up to 10 acres of brush had burned. However, there were no reports of injuries and no structures were damaged.

Investigators believe the fire was started by electrical power equipment that feeds a water department substation. …

Meanwhile, Central Maui residents were being asked to conserve water because the fire may have damaged a well site …

Affected locations include Waihee, Waiehu, Happy Valley, Wailuku, Waikapu and Kahului.

“Maui fire brought under control, residents asked to conserve water”
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 26, 2017

Groundwater Flooding due to Rising Sea Levels

University of Hawaii researchers: from sea-level rise by global warming, Hawaii’s low-lying areas face this insidious threat: groundwater flooding:

… a large part of urban Honolulu and Waikiki [is] increasingly swamped with groundwater as the rising ocean pushes up the water table, threatening some $5 billion of taxable real estate, nearly 30 miles of roadway, and a host of other facilities and assets.

This will happen regardless of any seawalls built … thus requiring special engineering, costly public works and other measures to deal with the standing water. …

The study not only found the water table already close to the ground surface — within 2 feet at high tide in many places — but 86 percent of the 256 active cesspools in the study area are already likely flooded by groundwater.

… it suggests that cesspool sewage is already entering the coastal groundwater and potentially finding its way to the ocean.

… this could grow into an even greater health concern as contaminated waters begin to appear in streets, sidewalks and gardens.

“Sea-level changes threaten low-lying areas”
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 26, 2017, By Timothy Hurley

Fun at Ahalanui Geothermal Pond

A New York Times writer enjoyed the Ahalanui geothermal pond on the Big Island during his first trip to Hawaii:

We arrive at the pond just after 9 a.m. It is a partly man-made, not-quite Olympic-size lagoon walled with volcanic rock over which the Pacific spills. Three other folks are breast stroking the green shallows, none of them microbially “hot” in appearance. In we go.

Through heat-jellied water, my diver’s mask reveals an aquarium of striped fish and fish with long Hitchcockian faces and tiny minnows hungrily scrumming at a scratch on my boy’s knee. Now my son is shrieking. I surface. Not shrieking but crowing. Jed, a connoisseur of bath water, is sampling the pond by the bulging cheekful and finding it superb.

This pond is excellent, maybe the closest I have ever found to my mind’s ideal of the great American swimming hole. It is a wallopingly beautiful place where admission is free. No “Royal”-access luxury cabanas, roving pedicurists or sling chairs for rent. It is not up a mountain or deep in a jungle but near enough to a parking lot that the infirm can enjoy it, too.

“The Hawaii Cure: A first trip to the island, in a desperate bid to escape the news.”
By Well Times, New York Times

Dr. Donald Thomas Presents for Honolulu Science Cafe

Dr. Donald Thomas delivered a talk at a Honolulu Science Cafe meeting:

Revisiting and Revising Hawaii’s Groundwater Models

Don Thomas is director of the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaii. One of his major research interests is the flow of freshwater on large volcanic islands, a subject that led to the drilling of several very deep boreholes, mainly on the Big Island.

Dr. Thomas will discuss some of the recent findings of his research program and its implications for water resource management in Hawaii.

The meeting happened last night at JJ’s Bistro in Kaimuki.

The Geothermal Collection: One of the Top 25 Pages on UH Online Repositories

eVols logoThe Geothermal Collection was one of the top 25 landing pages for both ScholarSpace and eVols for the fiscal year 2015. Below is the analytics for both pages:


Landing Page Page Title Sessions % New Sessions New Users Pages/Session Avg. Session Duration
https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/21320 The Geothermal Collection 558 75.27% 420 1.3 0:04:05
https://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/12279 The Geothermal Collection 258 64.34% 166 1.71 0:12:07

The University of Hawaii at Manoa Library hosts these online repositories and serve as one of this project’s partners.

2015 News — First Half

April 17, 2015

KITVUH to start Hualalai geothermal study
KITV | video
Geologists want to see if there is energy under the volcano that can be tapped for geothermal power.

March 30, 2015

ThinkTech_How Hot is Your Hawaii imageHow Hot is Your Hawaii? New Geothermal Resources Center
ThinkTech Hawaii | a television show interview with Dr. Nicole Lautze and Jay Fidell


March 24, 2015

Image result Geothermal Exploration Coming To Kona
Big Island Video News | news article

Hualalai geothermal study planned
West Hawaii Today | news article

Hualalai geothermal study planned
West Hawaii Today via Hawaii Tribune-Herald | news article

Big Island volcano geothermal study planned
KITV | news article and video

Big Island volcano geothermal study planned
Associated Press via Hawaii News Now | news article

Researcher seeks permit for geothermal study at Hualalai volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island
Associated Press via The Washington Times | news article

Hualalai Geothermal Study Planned
Global Geothermal News, Geothermal Resources Council | blog entry

Geothermal Study Planned for Hualalai
Civil Beat | news article

March 18, 2015

Ground Water UH website makes groundwater research public
Ka Leo O Hawaii | news article


March 10, 2015

Hawaii: Groundwater and geothermal data compiled for first time
International Association of Hydrogeologists 

March 5, 2015

New database a tool in groundwater, geothermal discussions
West Hawaii Today | news article

March 3, 2015

Image result for hawaii public radioDr. Lautze’s interview regarding HGGRC aired on Hawaii Public Radio (an affiliate of NPR).

Hawaii Public Radio | audio clip

March 2, 2015

Hawaiʻi groundwater and geothermal data compiled for first time
University of Hawaii at Manoa | press release

Hawaiʻi groundwater and geothermal data compiled for first time
University of Hawaii (UH) News | press release

January 23, 2015

humuula1Large fresh water supply discovered by UH researchers on Hawaiʻi Island
UH News
| news article


January 2015 Uploads

Title URL Author Publication Date Publisher
Special permit application for Barnwell Geothermal Corp. for geothermal exploration and evaluation at Puna, Hawaii http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47138 Craddick, EC 7/1/1980 Barnwell Geothermal Corp.
Hawaii Research, Development, and Demonstration program summary : geothermal energy http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47139 [n.d.] [n.p.]
Geodetic studies of the Puna Geothermal Venture site : summary report http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47140 Anderson, James L 6/27/1996 Department of Geology, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Summary of the biological information collected during the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hawaii Forest Bird Survey in the Puna study area on the island of Hawaii http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47141 Jacobi, James D 5/1/1985 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Geothermal energy development in Hawaii : a decade of conflict http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47142 Edmunds, Sallie 11/1/1986 Program on Conflict Resolution, University of Hawaii at Manoa
A regulatory guide to geothermal direct use development : Hawaii http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47143 Lyons, Kim 1/1/2004 Washington State University Extension Energy Program
Proposed Kilauea Middle East Rift Geothermal Resource Subzone (Puna Forest Reserve), island of Hawaii : Circular C-114 http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47144 Division of Water and Land Development, Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii 8/1/1985 Division of Water and Land Development, Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii
A study of integrating Hawaii’s energy and water resources http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47145 CH2M Hill 2/1/1987 CH2M Hill
Governor’s Advisory Board on the Underwater Cable Transmission Project : September 1987 http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47146 Thermal Power Company, Diamond Shamrock 9/3/1987 Thermal Power Company, Diamond Shamrock
Geothermal exploratory mission to Japan : a report to the Governor’s Advisory Board on the Underwater Cable Transmission Project http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47147 County of Hawaii 12/8/1987 County of Hawaii
Hawaii geothermal review and industry update for government leaders and staff http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47148 Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Energy 1/7/2004 Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Energy
Hawaii’s geothermal future and the deep water cable http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47149 Okura, G N; Uemura, R T; Chapman, G A 10/1/1982 Geothermal Resources Council
History and results of surface exploration in the Kilauea East Rift Zone http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47150 Gardner, Murray C; McNitt, James R; Klein, Christopher W; Koenig, James B.; Nakano, Dean 5/1/1995 International Geothermal Association
Application of new technologies to interisland power cables for Hawaii http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47151 Wilkins, George 4/1/1984 Pacific Congress on Marine Technology
A geothermal primer; some issues and some answers http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47152 Thomas, Donald M 5/1/1983 [n.p.]
Surveys of forest bird populations found in the vicinity of proposed geothermal project subzones in the district of Puna, Hawaii http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47153 Jacobi, James D; Reynolds, Michelle; Ritchotte, George; Nielsen, Bonnie; Viggiano, Anthony; Dwyer, Jill 10/1/1994 Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii National Park, HI (United States), Hawaii Research Station
Environmental overview program for alternate energy development : final report http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47154 Siegel, SM; Siegel, BZ 7/15/1981 Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Status summary of the HGP-A generator facility : 1983 http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47155 Thomas, Donald M 10/1/1983 Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Evolution of the HGP-A power plant http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47156 Shupe, John W 1/1/1985 U.S. Department of Energy
Hawaii Geothermal Project : United States http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47157 Goodman, Louis J; Miyabara, Tetsuo; Yount, Barbara 1/1/1980 Pergamon Press
Hawaii geothermal drilling guide : Circular C-126 http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47158 Falconer, Amber; Granados, Eduardo; Klein, Christopher; Lovekin, James 12/1/2014 Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii; GeothermEx
Puna temperature distribution maps http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47159 GeoThermEx 10/1/1991 Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Environmental assessment of an investigation of the hydrothermal system at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47160 Tilling, Robert I 1/1/1973 U.S. Geological Survey

The Cultural History of Puna, Hawaii

The ancient Hawaiians regarded Puna, Hawaii, as one of the most sacred places. The most eastern area in Hawaii was where the day and life started. The Northeast trade winds and their cloud formations and rainfalls went over Puna before flying above the rest of the Hawaiian islands. The rain sustains all living things in Puna.

Puna was home to fire goddess Pele and her family. Pele was the magma coming out of Kilauea Volcano, creating new land, and the Native Hawaiians called lava pele. Kilauea’s steam marked her power (mana) and presence. Traditional chants describe Pele’s sacred bathing places–warm pools in caves and underground such as Kaukala and Punahakeone.

Read more about the cultural background of Puna, Hawaii, in one of the most popular materials in the collection: “Native Hawaiian ethnographic study for the Hawaii Geothermal Project proposed for Puna and Southeast Maui.”


Governor: Embrace geothermal energy on Big Island

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he hopes the conversation about using geothermal energy will come to a quick conclusion.

Speaking Tuesday in Hilo, Abercrombie says he hopes Hawaii Island residents will end debate and embrace geothermal energy for future needs.

Abercrombie spoke as he prepared to sign a bill guaranteeing that 100 percent of royalties from using geothermal resources on Hawaiian Home Lands would be paid to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

He says he hopes the measure will be an incentive for the Public Utilities Commission and the public to move forward on Hawaii Island geothermal resources.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Hawaii Electric Light Co. is trying to begin a geothermal project that would generate up to 50 megawatts on Hawaii Island.

Governor: Embrace geothermal energy on Big Island
Hawaii News Now | news article

Geothermal revenue must go to Native Hawaiians

Hawaii’s attorney general says royalties from geothermal resource development on Hawaiian home lands must be used to benefit Native Hawaiians.

State Attorney General David Louie announced his formal opinion on the issue Tuesday, saying 100 percent of the royalties must go to Native Hawaiians.

He says he came to the conclusion after a comprehensive legal analysis by deputy attorney generals in his office.

His opinion also concludes that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is the only state entity authorized to manage geothermal resources on Hawaiian home lands.

Louie says he hopes his formal opinion will help the lawmakers and the community understand the department’s rights to the economic benefits of geothermal resource development on home lands.

Geothermal revenue must go to Native Hawaiians
Hawaii News Now | news article
March 19, 2014

Unexpected discovery in Humuula saddle region prompts new test

February 18, 2014

HIGHER WATERS: Unexpected discovery in Humuula saddle region prompts new tests
Hawaii Tribune-Herald | news article

“Unexpectedly high water in the Humuula saddle region, between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, prompted a University of Hawaii researcher to seek a new site for additional tests.

Donald Thomas, director of the university’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, in 2012, received permission to drill two bore holes to collect core samples. While drilling the first sample, Thomas said, scientists got some interesting preliminary results.

“We found water that was at a higher elevation than expected,” Thomas said.

They found the first thin band of water about 500 feet below the surface. A thicker band was present at about 700 feet, and a regional water table was at 1,800 feet, Thomas said.

“That’s considerable shallower than we anticipated,” he added.

Because of those preliminary findings, Thomas decided to seek a new site, about seven miles from the original one, to check to see how widespread that water table is. … Click for more