November 14, 2023
Water Supply Prepares for Forecasted Extended Drought
The Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawai‘i, 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.
Providing customers with an adequate and reliable supply of safe drinking water in a financially responsible manner is DWS’ mission. Fulfilling this mission becomes more challenging when reduced rainfall creates severe or extreme drought conditions which the U.S. Drought Monitor reports are now occurring https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?HI.
The DWS’ 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 www.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.
Water customers can do their part to use drinking water wisely and prevent waste. For helpful water conservation tips, please visit www.hawaiidws.org/conservation-resources/.
To reach the DWS, please call (808) 961-8050 during normal business hours, (808) 961-8790 for after-hour emergencies, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.