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StarBulletin.com

2 agencies told of complaints of water waste


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Question: The Board of Water Supply is spending a lot of taxpayer dollars advertising on TV not to water between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. because you are just wasting water. Yet, on the median strip on Ala Moana Boulevard across from Ward Centre, the water goes on around 8 to 10:30 a.m. At Kakaako Waterfront Park the sprinklers are going full force at 10 a.m. I have seen them waste hundreds of gallons of water for at least a week. Just who is wasting our money? Is it the TV advertising or the watering?

Answer: If it's made people like you aware of water waste, perhaps the advertising isn't all wasted.

The Board of Water Supply contacted the agencies involved in the watering: the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees Kakaako Waterfront Park, and the state Department of Transportation, which is responsible for the Ala Moana corridor.

If you're not clear who the responsible party is, you can call the board's Waste Water Hotline at 748-5041, but be prepared to give specific information, such as exact addresses or locations and exact times.

"Whenever there are water-waste issues, the more detailed someone can be, the easier for us to follow up," said spokeswoman Su Shin.

Because it had no real specifics, the board contacted both agencies just to let them know about your complaints and to remind them of the board's "request" - not mandate - to not irrigate between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority said it would contact its contractors to follow the recommended time period and "water accordingly," Shin said.

Meanwhile, there have been irrigation problems at Gateway Park, also under the authority's jurisdiction in Kakaako. Ever since a comfort station went up in flames, there have been electrical problems, including malfunctioning of irrigation timers, Shin said.

Workers have had to water manually during the middle of the day, but officials "are trying to rectify the situation," she said.

As for the median strip along Ala Moana Boulevard, state transportation officials said they would look into the complaint.

Shin said the board sends annual letters to the governor, mayor and even the admiral in charge of the U.S. Pacific Command during the peak water-usage months of the summer.

The letters include a suggested memo to give to staff, she said, encouraging employees to look out for things like broken sprinkler heads and to be mindful of irrigating during off-peak hours.

The intent is to remind government agencies that because their water use tends to be highly visible to the public, they should strive to not waste water, Shin said.

 

Auwe

To the driver of a white Toyota Matrix who was tailing me and honking his horn at about 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, while I was following the speed limit on Likelike Highway, Honolulu-bound. I hope you realized how lucky you were that the police did not set up a speed trap and you weren't tagged for speeding and crossing a double line to pass me. More important, I feel lucky that your erratic driving didn't cause an accident. - Aunty N.