The first Watershed Partnership was formed in 1991 on East Maui when several public and private landowners realized the benefits of working together to ensure the conservation of a shared watershed that provided billions of gallons of fresh water to the area.

In the following years six more watershed partnerships formed including, Ko’olau Mountains Watershed Partnership, East Moloka’i Watershed Partnership, West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership, Lāna‘i Forest and Watershed Partnership, The Kaua‘i Watershed Alliance, Kohala Watershed Partnership. The success of these partnerships highlighted the need to address watershed issues statewide.

Signing of HAWP Memorandum of Understanding (April 24, 2003)

On April 24th 2003, the 100th anniversary of Hawaii’s Forest Reserve System, Governor Linda Lingle and the seven existing watershed partnerships signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formally recognizing the states dedication to watershed protection and established the Hawai`i Association of Watershed Partnerships (HAWP).

Four additional watershed partnerships, Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Partnership, Three Mountain Alliance, Wai‘anae Mountains Watershed Partnership and Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance have since been established.

Visit the news archive page (April 2003 post at the bottom) to read articles related to HAWP’s formation.