(BIVN) – With moderate to severe drought conditions being reported across Hawaiʻi island, local water department officials issued a statement this week on the need for customers to use drinking water wisely.
Most of Hawaiʻi island is under “Moderate Drought” conditions, according to the latest information from the U.S. Drought Monitor. There is an area under “Abnormally Dry” conditions in South Kona, however there are other, small pockets on the Big Island that are under “Severe Drought”. There is even a small spot of “Extreme Drought” in the South Point area of Kaʻū.
“The National Weather Service’s forecast calls for the existing drought conditions to expand over the entire island and intensify over the upcoming months due to the ongoing El Niño event,” reported the Hawaiʻi County Department of Water Supply. “Peak dryness is expected to occur from around January through February 2024. The El Niño event will likely persist well into spring 2024.”
From a Water Supply news release:
The majority of the Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) public water systems rely on water pumped from underground aquifers that are more resilient to drought than surface water sources. However, due to the drought forecast, DWS will continue to closely monitor its 23 water systems, especially those relying primarily on rainfall to replenish stream or spring water sources which are more susceptible to drought conditions.
If DWS’ pumping capabilities cannot sustain the water needs of all customers and the public served by a respective water system, DWS will ask those customers to reduce their water use. Measures could include a request to cut back on irrigation, undertake 10 percent voluntary conservation, or comply with a mandatory 25 percent reduction notice so DWS can maintain an adequate supply of safe drinking water for all customers. Water customers can do their part by fixing common household water leaks, irrigating efficiently, and switching to low-flow toilets. Other helpful water conservation tips can be found at the Department’s website, hawaiidws.org, by clicking on the “Conservation” tab in the homepage drop-down menu.