Kaukonahua Drainage

Overview of Project

Oahu RC&D collaborates with farmers, ranchers and agricultural land operators located within the Kaukonahua drainage, a subunit of the Ki’iki’i Watershed, to develop conservation plans that outline Best Management Practices (BMPs) that benefit water quality through reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads. This project’s goals emphasize increasing resilience on participating farms. Through cost-share assistance, Oahu RC&D and farmers will work to reach agricultural productivity goals while implementing long-term changes that will aid in reducing nonpoint source pollution, flood mitigation and erosion control.

Project Location Map of Kaukonahua Drainage

Conservation planning services and participation in the cost-share program are available to farmers and ranchers in close proximity to the Kaukonahua Drainage (pictured below).

Conservation Planning

A conservation plan is a tool that helps farmers conserve and enhance the natural resources that support productive farming operations. Oahu RC&D will work with participating farmers, ranchers and landowners to create conservation plans that target the project’s goals of reducing nonpoint source pollution from entering Kaiaka bay and work towards increasing farm resilience and productivity. Staff at Oahu RC&D will conduct site visits to address property-specific resource concerns and communicate with farmers on their individual agricultural goals. Conservation plans are flexible, working blueprints that can be adapted and revised to address the changing needs and priorities of farms throughout the project. The conservation plans will outline appropriate BMPs and guidelines for implementation for each conservation practice. Conservation planning services by Oahu RC&D will be funded through the project grant and provided to participants free of charge.

Cost-Share Program for Farmers

Farmers who are approved to participate in this project may be eligible to receive cost-share assistance to implement BMPs that work to reduce erosion, agricultural runoff and address site-specific natural resource concerns. The cost-share program can provide funding for up to 67% of the total cost of establishing BMPs that address watershed health quality. Once conservation plans are approved, farmers can submit requests for reimbursement once installing BMPs on their land. Some conservation practices that are eligible to receive 67% funding from the cost-share program include:

  • Tree/shrub site preparation and establishment
  • Windbreaks
  • Mulching 
  • Micro-irrigation 
  • Cover crop

Monitoring

Oahu RC&D will conduct quarterly site visits to participating farms throughout the project to ensure that the implemented BMPs are effective in resolving natural resource and agricultural concerns. To quantify the impact that BMPs have on the Kaukonahua Watershed Area, turbidity and nutrient monitoring will take place. Oahu RC&D will conduct vegetative monitoring to measure and observe the effectiveness of vegetative BMPs and use findings to create an index that will determine the changes in the amount of bare soil.

Oahu RC&D will provide funding via cost-share assistance directly to farmers to install conservation practices on their land. Oahu RC&D has managed similar projects within the Windward watersheds of Oahu, which have successfully resulted in cleaner bodies of water and increased resilience and productivity of participating farms. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural operators are invited to submit applications to be considered for BMP cost-share. Applications are due Wednesday, March 15th, 2023 at 2:00PM.