WAILUKU - Periodic showers in the East Maui watershed are maintaining flows into Upcountry reservoirs, but Maui remains in a drought overall, with Central Maui and west Molokai still rated as in severe drought.
In his weekly report, Water Director Jeff Eng said demand on the Upcountry system remained stable but he expressed concern over a spurt in consumption on the Central Maui system that serves the region from Paia to Wailuku to Kihei-Makena.
Demand for the period of Aug. 7-13 spiked to an average 26.16 million gallons a day, above the water department's target of 25 mgd for customers on the system. Eng said the increase in demand on the system "is unusual considering the rains we've had this past week."
The U.S. Drought Monitor continued to rate the islands as abnormally dry, with several areas in moderate to extreme drought affecting agricultural production.
Moderate to strong trade winds blowing through most of August combined with remnant storm systems to provide periodic and occasionally heavy showers on windward slopes.
The West Wailua Iki gauge in the East Maui watershed recorded nearly 10 inches over the first two weeks of August, which is about average. Normal rainfall for the month is 19.7 inches.
AVERAGE DAILY WATER USE
DistrictAug. 7-13July 31-Aug. 6Aug. 2007
Central Maui26.16 mgd25.38 mgd27.96 mgd
Upcountry7.59 mgd7.91 mgd7.92 mgd
Lahaina6.05 mgd5.99 mgd6.71 mgd
Hana0.34 mgd0.35 mgd0.30 mgd
Molokai1.15 mgd1.16 mgd1.41 mgd
Total41.29 mgd40.80 mgd44.30 mgd
Puu Kukui in the West Maui watershed recorded just under 9 inches of rain over the first two weeks, which is below average. Normal rainfall for August is 32.5 inches.
The periodic showers in the East Maui watershed are reflected in water flows. The Wailoa Ditch that supplies the county's Kamole Weir Water Treatment Facility has been running from lows of 48 million gallons a day Aug. 5 and 6 to a high of 189 mgd Thursday.
The Upcountry reservoirs, with an overall capacity of 180 million gallons, held 165.4 million gallons on Thursday.
"This is good news considering this is normally a dry time of year," Eng said.
But he urged consumers to continue to exercise care in use of water during the dry season, which continues through November.
"The department is working on reducing unnecessary water waste through its leak detection program, upgrading of antiquated equipment, and installation of flow meters to track demand," he said. "I ask our customers to reduce unnecessary water waste too, by investing in low-flow or Energy Star appliances, fixing leaks right away and, of course, turning off irrigation systems when it rains."