Upcountry drought watch lifted

The director of the Department of Water Supply, Dave Taylor, lifted a nearly three-year drought watch for Upcountry Maui on Friday.

The department had asked for a voluntary 5 percent cutback in water use for Upcountry residents, with agricultural water users exempt. The affected area included Haiku, Makawao, Olinda, Haliimaile, Pukalani, Omaopio/Pulehu, Kula, Keokea/Waiohuli, Ulupalakua and Kanaio.

On Monday morning, the water department reported:

* The Wailoa Ditch flowing at 45.6 million gallons per day, or 22.8 percent of capacity.

* The Piiholo Water Treatment Facility reservoir was full at 50 mg. The Piiholo facility production was 2.1 mg and provided water for the Makawao and Lower Kula water systems.

* Kamole Water Treatment Facility production was 0.1 mg for the previous 24-hour period due to the new high lift booster pump installation project. In addition, with the Piiholo Reservoir nearly full, the water department has utilized the Piiholo facility to provide water to the lower elevations, saving on pumping cost.

* The 30-mg Waikamoi reservoirs are empty.

* The 100-mg Kahakapao reservoirs are at 85.2 percent.

* Olinda Water Treatment Facility production was 1.5 mg.

Total water consumption, including groundwater sources, for all of Upcountry was 6 mg.

The Department of Water Supply thanked the Upcountry community.

“The Upcountry area will always be susceptible to drought and the Department of Water Supply recommends that all customers continue to use water wisely. It is very likely that drought conditions will return later in the year,” said Taylor.