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Drought conditions reported throughout Hawaii

Most of Hawaii is experiencing drought conditions when it should have more rain, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said.

It’s the time of year when rain should be plentiful, the DLNR said in a news release today, but all the main Hawaiian islands are experiencing at least moderate drought. The northwestern tips of Kauai and Maui are experiencing severe droughts, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, with a north and western part of Hawaii island being the only portion of the state not experiencing droughts.

Monitored streams are showing flow at record low rates, with some approaching the lowest flows ever recorded, the DLNR said.

The U.S. Geological Survey shows more than half a dozen areas on Maui and Oahu with stream flow that’s “much below normal” historical flow as of this evening.

The State Commission of Water Resource Management is advising people in Maui County to take immediate actions to reduce their water use. The county’s municipal water supply is heavily reliant on the surface flow of water to meet the potable water demands of the upcountry, central valley and west Maui regions, and other communities on Maui are reliant on it for their domestic water supply and agriculture.

“As we enter, the more typically dry summer months, and without significant precipitation in the next few months, Hawai‘i could be in store for devastating wildfires this year. We are seeing this consequence of global climate change, played out on many fronts, including fire seasons that are now year around,” said Michael Walker, the State Fire Manager with the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, in a statement.

Walker said people should become educated in how to prevent wildfires, which indirectly have impacts on water supplies.

CWRM is recommending water conservation measures, including the elimination of landscape irrigation, car and truck washing and a reductions in home water use.

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