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May 30, 2001

WATER OFFICIALS KEEP CLOSE WATCH AS WATER LEVELS TREND DOWNWARD

Officials of the Board of Water Supply (BWS) are keeping a close watch on Oahu's groundwater levels as the summer season approaches. At today's meeting of the board, members were told that persistent low winter rainfall over the past four years have led to a decline in the island's aquifers.

“We rely on high winter rains to recharge our aquifers and allow the water levels to rise to normal levels,” said Donna Kiyosaki, BWS deputy manager and chief engineer. “For four years, this low rainfall has not enabled water levels to sufficiently recover, and there is cause for concern as we move into the summer months.”

Kiyosaki reported that water levels at three indicator stations, Moanalua, Punaluu and Makaha, are in the Alert low groundwater condition. She said water levels at three major artesian well stations at Beretania, Halawa and Kaimuki are in the Caution condition.

Water officials say the three levels of concern are Caution, Alert and Critical, and indicate the health of groundwater aquifers in relationship to pumpage from a particular source.

Kiyosaki said her staff is monitoring all of the island's water sources more closely.

“As a precautionary measure,” she added, “we will be urging Oahu's consumers to help us curb high water demand by practicing voluntary conservation.”

Kiyosaki told the board that periodic reports will be made on the condition of the aquifers as we get deeper into the summer season.

She said the board will work to get the conservation message out to the public, and will be asking large water customers to serve as pacesetters “by reducing water use and to be more mindful of their irrigation practices”.

Water conservation tips are available from the Board's Community Relations Office, ph. 527-6126, or online from the BWS website at www.hbws.org.

-BWS-
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

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