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Upcountry, W. Maui to be placed under water shortage restrictions starting Thursday

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Central Maui. PC: Wendy Osher (6.2.22)

A Stage 1 water shortage declaration will take effect this Thursday for Upcountry and West Maui due to dry conditions and record high average temperatures, according to a county announcement.

Beginning June 30, the department will prohibit Upcountry and West Maui water consumers from using water for irrigation, watering lawns, washing vehicles or other nonessential activities.

The Hawaii Drought Monitor lists most of Maui island as abnormally dry, with more than half of Maui County in a severe drought. Reservoirs for the Piiholo and Olinda Water Treatment Facilities are about 85% and 55% of capacity, respectively.

“As dry weather continues, reservoir levels and ditch flows will continue to drop, and it is likely that Upcountry water treatment facilities will not be able to keep up with demand,” said Department of Water Supply Director Helene Kau. “Production at the Kamole Treatment Facility in Haliimaile has been adequate, with Wailoa Ditch flows averaging over 13 million gallons per day. Total average water consumption for Upcountry is about 8 million gallons per day. However, with dry weather continuing, we expect consumption to increase.”

In West Maui, dry weather has reduced stream flows that supply raw water to the Lahaina and Mahinahina Treatment Facilities. Stream flows are inadequate for the Lahaina facility.

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“We are moving water from the Mahinahina Water Treatment Facility to supplement Lahaina,” Kau said. “The west side has two treatment plants with much less capacity than Upcountry. Any reduction of rainfall affects sources of water supply much more quickly.”

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The Department of Water Supply will impose mandatory water use restrictions next week to extend the community’s available supply of water until weather conditions improve.

A Stage 1 water shortage exists if the director of the Department of Water Supply determines that anticipated water demand in an area is projected to exceed available water supply by 1 to 15%.

Please refrain from washing vehicles, watering lawns and continue to reduce other nonessential activities. The department recommends that consumers evaluate water use habits and implement long-term conservation measures such as fixing leaks and installing low-flow fixtures. Other water-saving ideas are available at www.mauicounty.gov/water

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The Department of Water Supply thanks Upcountry and West Maui residents and businesses for their ongoing efforts to conserve water.

For more information, contact Department of Water Supply Administrative Officer Adam Mundy at (808) 270-8046.

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