(BIVN) – As dry conditions persist across the island of Hawaiʻi, the Department of Water Supply says it is preparing for the impacts of an extended drought.
The DWS issued a news release on Tuesday, saying it “has undertaken a multi-phased strategy aimed at meeting customers’ and the public’s essential drinking water needs during the ongoing islandwide drought that weather experts predict will extend well into 2024.”
The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor map shows Severe Drought conditions are still being reported across most of the Big Island, with some small pockets of Extreme Drought.
Water Supply officials say their drought strategy includes the following measures:
- Participating with partners in a Hawai‘i County Water Needs working group convened by the Civil Defense Agency to prepare for the extended dry weather conditions;
- Conserving water storage, where possible, to meet anticipated demands, including fire protection;
- Preparing to establish temporary services from select fire hydrants so approved commercial water haulers will have more sites from which to draw potable water to assist those on personal rainwater catchment systems;
- Considering adding additional public spigot locations to make water access more convenient and available for people not served by a DWS water system;
- Utilizing generators to power crucial water facilities during temporary electrical outages;
- Continuing to promote water conservation and restriction notices, including mandating, if warranted, customers to limit their water use to only essential needs (drinking, cooking, personal hygiene, sanitation);
- Issuing timely notices informing customers how their water service could be or is being impacted by extended drought and/or red flag warning conditions;
- Posting updated messaging at hawaiidws.org and on the DWS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HawaiiDWS/ and;
- Closely monitoring both the Department’s 23 public water systems and the latest weather forecasts to remain informed and prepared for potential impacts.
The DWS also shared a link to some helpful water conservation tips.