Success Stories

Success story: Community Innovation Mentorship Program 2.0

News, Success Story

UH College of Engineering students solve real-world problem through Community Innovation Mentorship Program

The Problem

Storm water runoff compromises Hawaii’s supply of fresh water. In an effort to preserve our supply of fresh water, Hawaii’s State legislature passed Act42 (HB 1325), which authorizes its counties to adopt a stormwater utility form of funding and charge storm water fees. Through it, land owners pay a fee based on how much runoff leaves their property, and the fees will go toward maintaining the measures that prevent pollution.

The Solution

Through a university-industry-local government collaboration, a prototype solution was developed to enable land owners to understand their storm water runoff financial obligations both before and after they make improvements to their facilities.

This collaboration was made possible through four elements.

  • Interns: students from The College of Engineering at University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Consultants/mentors: DataHouse and Belt Collins
  • Clients: Hawaii Department of Education – Waipahu High School
  • Administration and Sponsors: Transform Hawaii Government and TRUE

The Result

Students delivered a prototype solution that will fundamentally enable the establishment of “fee-for-service-based” funding of a community’s defined stormwater management program.

In addition to the prototype solution, CIMP also:

  • Provided a pathway for students to gain experience developing real-world solutions.
  • Gave students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the engineering industry.
  • Allowed local businesses to actively cultivate Hawaii’s next generation of leaders.
  • Models how other local business leaders can foster continued growth in Hawaii.