One of the largest landowners in Hawaii could lose $62 million for selling rights to water it did not own.

Hawaii residents fighting for water rights uncovered what some are calling the real reason behind a bill at the State Capitol giving Alexander and Baldwin an extension of its revocable permit.

In 2018 A&B sold its sugar cane land in Central Maui to Mahi Pono and sales documents sent to investors shows a promise made by A&B to Mahi Pono to divert 30 million gallons of water per day until 2026 or they'd pay $62 million.

Their permits expires this year and they want an extension. A bill that originated in the State House would have granted A&B seven more years but Kai Kahele cut it to three years after finding out about the promise they made. 

"It's not about these small ranchers and farmers who are using well water and dike water on order of thousands of gallons a day, it's about Alexander and Baldwin and millions upon millions of gallons per day and $62 million," Marti Townsend of the Sierra Club of Hawaii said.

Two water rights bills are scheduled for public hearing at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

They include Senator Kahele's amended version of the original house bill plus a Senate gut and replace bill that mirrors the House's original intent of a seven year extension.