Water Conservation Requested for Upcountry and West Maui

July 17, 2020, 3:34 PM HST · Updated July 17, 3:39 PM
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Water Conservation Urged.

Due to lack of rainfall, the Department of Water Supply is requesting consumers in the Upcountry and West Maui areas to conserve water. Consumers are urged to use water only as needed for health and safety purposes in order to extend the available supply until dry weather conditions pass.

The Hawaiʻi Drought Monitor lists most of Maui as abnormally dry, with parts of Maui County in a moderate drought.

Water production at the Kamole Water Treatment Facility in Hāliʻimaile has been adequate, with Wailoa ditch flows averaging over 12 million gallons per day (mgd).

Total average consumption for Upcountry is currently greater than 8.5 mgd. With drier weather, the department expects greater demand for water stored in Upcountry Reservoirs. The Piʻiholo and Olinda water treatment facilities are at about 80% and 55% of capacity, respectively.

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The high level at Piʻiholo reservoir reflects Department of Water Supply pumping, not incoming raw water, according to county officials. As dry weather continues, reservoir levels and ditch flows will continue to drop. The county reports that there will be a risk that the Piʻiholo and Olinda facilities will not be able to keep up with Upcountry demand.

In West Maui, current ditch flows are adequate, but they could also drop quickly as rainfall declines. The west side has treatment plants, at Lahaina and Mahinahina, with much less storage capacity than Upcountry. Any reduction in rainfall affects source water much more quickly.

The Department of Water Supply is asking the public to voluntarily conserve water to reduce consumption during these dry times to allow water supplies to be extended as much as possible. If dry conditions continue, the department may need to require mandatory water use restrictions.

Conservation measures include refraining from washing cars and irrigating lawns, and reducing other non-essential uses of water. With the dry summer months here, this is a good time for consumers to evaluate their water usage habits and implement long-term conservation measures such as fixing leaks and installing low-flow water fixtures.

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