Friday, May 25, 2001

Board urges
lower water use
in summer

Underground reserves
have declined because
of low winter rainfall

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has asked customers to watch their usage because low winter rainfall over the last four years has 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, the board's 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."

Water levels at indicator stations in Moanalua, Punaluu and Makaha are in the alert, low groundwater condition, Kiyosaki said. Water levels at three major artesian well stations at Beretania, Halawa and Kaimuki are in the caution condition.

There are no stations in critical condition, the highest level of concern. The alert level is second-highest and the caution condition is third.

Kiyosaki said yesterday periodic reports will be made on the condition of the aquifers to see how volunteer conservation is affecting the water supply as the summer progresses.

Water conservation tips are available from the board's community relations office at 527-6126 or at the board Web site at

The agency also voted yesterday to defer a scheduled hike in water rates and adopted a $220.2 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Kiyosaki said $89.7 million has been budgeted for operating expenditures, $66.7 million for its research and facility improvement program, and $63.8 million for capital improvement projects.

"Projected revenues from all current sources and a modest carryover balance from this year will allow us to again freeze rates at current levels and still provide an adequate unappropriated reserve," Kiyosaki said.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin