Oahu water board asks residents to conserve due to drought

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Board of Water Supply officials asked Oahu residents to conserve water through the fall because of ongoing drought conditions.

Officials from Oahu’s water utility said rainfall has been less than 50 percent of the normal average, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported last week.

The low rainfall has prevented adequate recharge of Oahu’s aquifers, the water supply board said.

The National Weather Service predicted lower than average rainfall for this month, but the board said the island’s sources will need time to rebuild storage capacity regardless of the amount of rain arriving later this year.

“We need to reduce overall island demand to protect our groundwater resources from depleting,”î Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau said in a statement. “This is necessary to ensure that Oahu’s drinking water supply remains healthy and sustainable over the long term.”

The board is working to ensure its own water system and fixtures are water-tight, while also reaching out to city and state agencies and the military to ask for support in addressing water waste on their properties, especially in the use of irrigation systems.

The utility urged consumers to be mindful of daily water use. Suggestions include include watering gardens before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m., taking shorter showers and turning off taps during teeth brushing.