October 20, 2017

Hirono, Schatz, Gabbard Announce Nearly $3 Million to Improve Drinking Water Infrastructure in Puna

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announced that the Hawaiian Shores Community Association (HSCA) will receive nearly $3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve its community drinking water system in Puna, Hawaii. 

“Rural communities in Hawaii face unique challenges in maintaining and updating aging water infrastructure,” said Senator Hirono. “This federal investment will help HSCA make needed improvements to their community drinking water system and ensure that Puna residents have access to clean, affordable drinking water.”

“This investment will help make sure families in Puna continue to have access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Senator Schatz. “I thank the USDA for working with my office to ensure that the Hawaiian Shores community has the resources it needs to improve its water system.”

“We've seen the devastating effects of failing to protect drinking water infrastructure in communities in Hawaii and across the country. This investment to improve the water system in Puna is critical to safeguarding drinking water for hundreds of Hawaii Island families and helping to protect the health and well-being our keiki and community,” said Congresswoman Gabbard.

The HSCA subdivision consists of nearly 1,300 residential lots and provides potable water and waste water services to approximately 445 homes. 

“The Hawaiian Shores Community Association is very grateful to the USDA, Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard for supporting our very worthwhile water system improvement project,” said HSCA President Roger Guenette. “The loan and grant money for the project will allow us to greatly improve the water supply and the integrity of the water quality for our customers. We could not have proceeded with this very worthwhile project without their very valuable support.”

As part of the federal funding announcement, USDA approved a $419,320 grant and a $513,000 long-term loan. In addition, USDA will provide HSCA with $1,978,000 in federal assistance. These funds will assist HSCA in the replacement of an existing storage tank, booster pump, piping for fire flow, and other needed upgrades.