The Maui News - Mayor Alan Arakawa is urging Maui residents to conserve water while underground aquifers recharge their supply of fresh water. "It has been a wet summer in Maui County, but this rainfall still needs about six months to reach our aquifers," Mayor Arakawa said in a prepared statement issued last week. The appeal is a general water conservation request, said Paul Meyer, deputy director of the county Department of Water Supply. The last three to four weeks have been particularly dry and surface water sources Upcountry and in 'Iao and Waihe'e valleys have been running low, he said.
Recently, the water department shut down its Olinda Water Treatment Facility because of low water flows, Meyer said. That facility normally receives water from the upper Kula reservoirs, but now residents are receiving water pumped uphill from the Kamole and Pi'iholo water treatment facilities and the Po'okela well in Makawao. The mayor asked residents to take "small steps, such as taking shorter showers, fixing leaky irrigation and watering your plants in the early morning or late in the afternoon."