The Department of Water Supply is reminding Upcountry customers that a 5 percent voluntary cutback remains in effect in light of the current dry weather conditions and a higher than normal demand for water.
The total average demand for the Upcountry water system for the week was 8.4 million gallons a day (mgd), the water department reported in a news release Friday. Normally, average demand is 7.1 mgd. The amounts of water processed at most Upcountry treatment plants are up, indicating increased demand.
As far as supply, the Wailoa Ditch is running at only 14 percent of capacity, the 100 million-gallon Kahakapao Reservoirs were half full and the 0.8 mgd Kaupakalua Well was down for repairs, the department said.
"If the department cannot maintain reservoir levels, customers may be required to cut back water usage by 10 percent," the department said.
Jacky Takakura, department administrative officer, said Friday that there are some "old" provisions to trigger mandatory conservation measures. But with changes to the Upcountry water system, including the addition of wells, the department is working on "new benchmarks," she said.
"A work in progress," Takakura explained.
On June 25, 2009, the department asked for a voluntary 5 percent cutback in water use for Upcountry residents. The affected area included Haiku, Makawao, Olinda, Haliimaile, Pukalani, Omaopio/Pulehu, Kula, Keokea/Waiohuli, Ulupalakua and Kanaio.
Customers with agricultural water rates are exempt from this request.
Conservation suggestions include checking homes for leaks, using water conservatively and installing water-saving devices. Other suggested methods include not washing cars, irrigating lawns or filling storage tanks or reservoirs.
"Decreasing outdoor water use is a simple yet significant way to reduce water consumption," the department said.
Rain may be sparse for the rest of the year.
"Probabilities favor below normal precipitation through the rest of 2012," said Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist for the National Weather Service. "October has been incredibly dry so far."
The status of water department facilities as of Friday morning follow:
* Wailoa Ditch flows were 28 mgd, or 14 percent of capacity.
* Piiholo Reservoir held 45 million gallons, or 90 percent of capacity. There is a caveat, the reservoir is nearly filled due to average daily pumping of 1.9 mgd from the Kamaole Water Treatment Facility.
* Waikamoi Reservoirs, 30 million gallons, are empty.
* Kahakapao Reservoirs, 100 million gallons, are at 51.4 million gallons.
* Kaupakalua Well in Haiku is currently out of service due to a motor replacement issue. It should resume operation in about one month.
* Haiku Well currently provides 0.4 mgd.
* Pookela Well draw is 1.3 mgd.
* Hamakuapoko Wells are not ready for service.
As far as production at water treatment facilities:
* Piiholo Water Treatment facility production averaged 2 mgd for the past week. The average from July 1, 2011, to June 30 was 3.4 mgd.
* Kamole Water Treatment Facility was producing 5 mgd for the past week. The annual average production for this facility is 2.4 mgd.
* Olinda Water Treatment Facility was producing 1.8 mgd this past week for the Upper Kula area, compared with 1.1 mgd from July 1, 2011, to June 30.
Takakura explained that the Olinda facility services Upper Kula mostly, with Olinda drawing about 100,000 to 200,000 gallons daily. If Kahakapao Reservoir levels continue to drop, service to Upper Kula in early November will be halted with the Piiholo facility in Lower Kula picking up the area. The Olinda facility will provide water to the Olinda area only.
"The DWS will do all it can to access other sources of water, including groundwater," the news release said. "The DWS will also continue to monitor the weather forecast and source water flows."
The department provides a supply-and-demand report at www.mauiwater.org.
Free low-flow shower heads and leak detection dye tablets for toilets are available at One Main Plaza, Suite 102 in Wailuku. For more information on how to save water, contact the department at 463-3110.
To report leaks in the water system, call 270-7633.