On the Maui County Priority Water Meter List – What does that mean for you?

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On Maui access to water is a requirement to building and development. There is an ongoing dialog / debate as to whether Maui has enough water to sustain its current population, let alone all of our anticipated growth and development. Based on my layperson’s knowledge regarding Maui rainfall (our micro-climates range from near desert to one of rainiest spots on earth) I think that Maui probably recieves enough rainfall to support a fairly substantial increase in population and water usage. Whether or not we have created the appropriate infrastructure such as reservoirs to handle these increases is a topic for another day.

This conversation is to help provide some context for those properties that you see that are “on the priority waiting list for a Maui County Water Meter”. What exactly does this mean to you as a prospective buyer? The answer of course is, it depends. First and foremost, you should consider where the parcel is located and what the rainfall in the area is. If you are looking at a property in Haiku or Huelo with substantial rainfall, water catchment may be an alternative to having a Maui County Water Meter. Depending on your elevation and location, drilling a well may also be an option. If neither of these alternatives is viable or cost effective, you are at the mercy of “the list”.

At the Realtor Caravan yesterday, I learned an important bit of information about the oriority waiting list for a water meter. For every spot on the list, there are an average of 3.5 water meters requested. In other words, if you are priority reservation 100, there may be 350 water meters released before yours becomes available. What seemed so close…in reality may be much farther away. The water department does not provide any timeframes for when water meters will be released or at what speed they will do so. It really boils down to Maui water meters are released when the water is available.

A few additional factors to consider when looking at a property that is on the Maui County water meter list. If you have a long time frame before you are planning to build your home, purchasing a property without a water meter might be an opportunity. A property without a water meter should be priced substantially lower than a property with a meter. Perhaps the timing of delivery of the meter and your development plans will intersect. Another question to ask is, are there any conditions that need to be met for the meter to be installed? Some areas may need laterals or large infrastructure investments that you might need to make prior to a meter being installed.

Hopefully this helps you understand Maui properties without water meters a little better. If you would like to discuss purchasing vacant land on Maui or the water meter situation, please contact the Jalbert Brothers today.

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