Large parts of Maui County are under severe to extreme drought conditions which have led to a Stage 1 water shortage for the Department of Water Supply (DWS) customers in the Upcountry and West Maui service areas. In this situation, DWS customers in those areas need to continue increasing indoor water conservation practices while avoiding nonessential outdoor water use activities such as lawn and landscape irrigation, washing down the surface areas of properties, and washing vehicles. Exceptions include responsibly applied water use for subsistence farming to meet family food needs, water activities required for health or safety reasons, and other water uses required to meet minimum needs for maintaining livestock or the core functions of a business, unless otherwise prohibited by law. To learn more about ways to conserve water both indoor and outdoor, please go to our water conservation tools page.
DWS Director, Helene Kau, stated, “As dry weather continues, reservoir levels and ditch flows will continue to drop, and it is likely that Upcountry water treatment facilities will not be able to keep up with demand,”. In West Maui, on-going drought and updated in-stream flow standards set by the State of Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management reduced stream flows that supply raw water to the Lahaina and Mahinahina Water Treatment Facilities. Director Kau also indicated that since the Lahaina Water Treatment Facility is especially affected by the situation, water from the Mahinahina Water Treatment Facility will be redirected to help keep its operations going. She also points out that DWS only has two water treatment facilities in West Maui, which has less water capacity that its Upcountry water system. As a result, rainfall reductions will quickly affect sources of water supply in West Maui.