Environmental Policy & Planning Group

The UHERO Environmental & Policy Planning Group partners with government, non-profit, business, and community groups to address Hawaiʻi’s key environmental policy challenges. To do so we employ a diverse set of interdisciplinary methods and tools to study the interconnection between human and natural systems with the purpose of contributing to more effective decision making. We specifically work in the linked areas of water, energy, food systems, watersheds, and coastlines, where an overarching theme is how to mitigate and adapt to land use and climate change and their effects on these systems.

Water demand box plots

Estimating water demand using price differences of wastewater services

Many homes in Hawai‘i use cesspools and other on-site disposal systems (OSDS) instead of the municipal sewer system. Because bills combine water and waste-water services, …

Oahu map climate change

How Will Climate Change Affect Water Demand? Evidence from Hawai‘i Microclimates

The effect that climate change will have on water resource sustainability is gaining international interest, particularly in regions where stocks are strained due to changing …

Sumida farm

Incorporating Historical Spring Discharge Protection into Sustainable Groundwater Management: A Case Study from Pearl Harbor Aquifer, Hawai‘i

By Kimberly Burnett, Ahmed Elshall, Christopher Wada, Aida Arik, Aly El-Kadi, Clifford Voss, Jade Delevaux, and Leah Bremer The value of considering a range of …

Mountain to sea resource management to protect groundwater dependent ecosystems

By Christopher Wada, Kimberly Burnett, and Sittidaj Ponkijvorasin In Hawai‘i and other parts of the world, native forest and valuable linked natural resources are being …

Positive net benefits for an agricultural import rule designed to protect native Hawaiian forests

Photo by Forest & Kim Starr By Kimberly Burnett and Christopher Wada Since its first documented introduction to Hawai‘i in 2005, the rust fungus Puccinia psidii has …

2019 Paper of the Year in Invasive Plant Science and Management

Congratulations to UHERO researchers Kimberly Burnett and Christopher Wada who were part of the team awarded the 2019 Paper of the Year in Invasive Plant …

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

This report provides an analysis of the relative effectiveness of watershed conservation and restoration efforts in terms of groundwater recharge benefits in Hawaiʻi County Department …

Context: Future of Native Forest

Forest protection provides important cost savings to water utility on Maui

By Leah Bremer Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization and Water Resources Research Center partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi to …

Characterizing Hawai‘i’s Natural Resources Management Sector

This report provides an update to the 2015 “Recent Trends in Hawai‘i’s Green Economy: Agriculture, Energy, and Natural Resource Management” publication, the second update since …