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Board of Water Supply asks Oahu residents to conserve water due to drought conditions

Honolulu Board of Water Supply officials on Wednesday asked Oahu residents to conserve water as much as possible through the fall due to drought conditions.

For the past five months, officials said rainfall has been less than 50% of the normal average on Oahu, which prevents the adequate recharge of the isle’s aquifers. In addition, the National Weather Service has predicted lower than average rainfall for this month.

Even if more rains arrive later this year, the BWS said the island’s sources will need time to rebuild storage capacity.

“We need to reduce overall island demand to protect our groundwater resources from depleting,” said BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau in a news release. “This is necessary to ensure that Oahu’s drinking water supply remains healthy and sustainable over the long term.”

Oahu consumers are urged to be mindful of their daily water use, and to adopt practices that avoid waste. The BWS offers seven ways to save water, which include watering your lawn or garden before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m., taking shorter showers, and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.

“Every conservation effort is meaningful and makes a difference,” Lau said. “If we each save a little water, together we’ll save a lot.”

The BWS, meanwhile, is working to ensure that its own water system and fixtures are as water-tight as possible.

It has also reached out to city and state agencies and the military to ask for their support in addressing water waste occurring on their properties — especially from irrigation systems — as soon as possible.

The public can also contact the BWS’s water waste hotline at 748-5041 or contactus@hbws.org to report the misuse of water, with details on how it is being wasted, location, time of day and contact information.

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