In early May, the University of Hawaii (UH) received $20 million from the National Science Foundation to conduct a five-year water sustainability study to preserve and secure its water resources. Called ‘Ike Wai (knowledge of water), the study will be performed through a public-private collaboration between UH, state and federal agencies, and community partners. The project not only raises water awareness but also focuses the education of future generations on water sustainability.
Challenges related to population growth and climate change have prompted an increased focus on water sustainability on the big island of Hawaii. With the population projected to grow from 1.1 million in 2010 to 1.7 million by 2040, Hawaii is expected to experience water supply concerns.  In addition, the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program produced a report that projects “Hawaii will see more drought and heavy rains causing more flash flooding, harm to infrastructure, runoff, and sedimentation” due to climate change. 
The ‘Ike Wai project will allow for detailed data analyses of Hawaii’s water resources and will help inform future decision making and planning related to the state’s water supply. UH cyberinfrastructure director and ‘Ike Wai’s principle investigator, Gwen Jacobs, stated in a press release, “ʻIke Wai will impact every citizen and business in the state, as it gives Hawaii policy makers the ability to make data-driven, community informed decisions about the future of water in Hawaii.”
In addition, the University of Hawaii introduced new degree and training programs to engage future generations to address critical water challenges. David Lassner, the president of UH, stated in the same release, “[‘Ike Wai] is a compelling example of how the University of Hawaii is helping Hawaii and the world through our unique strengths and partnership.”
“[The project] exemplifies how we synthesize cutting edge research, education and traditional Hawaiian knowledge to address critical community issues,” concluded Lassner. The ‘Ike Wai project unifies public and private entities to develop new strategies needed to secure the future of Hawaii’s water resources.
 University of Hawaii News. UH leads $20M research partnership to secure Hawaiʻi’s water future. University of Hawaii News, May 5, 2016. Web. http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2016/05/05/uh-leads-20m-research-partnership-to-secure-hawai%CA%BBis-water-future/  Research and Economic Analysis Division Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Population and Economic Projections for the State of Hawaii to 2040. Hawaii.gov, March 2016. Web. http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/data_reports/2040-long-range-forecast/2040-long-range-forecast.pdf  University of Hawaii at Mänoa Sea Grant College Program. Climate Change Impacts in Hawaii. University of Hawaii at Mänoa Sea Grant College Program, 2016. Web http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/sites/default/files/publications/smfinal-hawaiiclimatechange.pdf