The Department of Water Supply has declared a Stage 1 Water Shortage for water consumers in the Upcountry, Maui service area. The service area includes Makawao, Upper and Lower Kula, Haʻikū, Pukalani, Kokoma, Kaupakalua, Ulumalu, Kēōkea, ʻUlupalakua, and Kanaio.
“With the wildfires and unsafe water advisory, among other issues, I know that our community has already endured so much,” said Council member Yuki Lei Sugimura in an email communication with constituents. “I am continually grateful for our communities resiliency and willingness to help one another without hesitation. This initial water shortage notice is aimed to help us take action now and hopefully prevent tighter restrictions in the future. I appreciate your efforts to help conserve water.”
The Director of Water Supply, with approval of the Mayor, is authorized to declare a water shortage when the water supply becomes inadequate in any area in the County.
A Stage 1 water shortage exists if the Director determines that anticipated water demand in an area is projected to exceed available water supply by 1-15%.
According to the declaration: “Upcountry Maui has experienced increased water demand due to the extinguishment of the Upcountry, August wildfires, a continued lack of precipitation has prevented the reservoirs that rely largely on surface water to replenish to adequate levels; and planned infrastructure improvements which will ultimately increase the treatment capacity of the Kamole Water Treatment Plant, have limited the capacity of the plant until improvements are complete, support the decision to implement a Stage 1 Water Shortage.”
DWS is requesting all Upcountry water consumers to refrain from using water for irrigation, lawns, personal washing of vehicles, or other nonessential activities. If the water demand can be reduced, then no further restrictions will be necessary.
The Stage 1 Water Shortage went into effect on Oct. 26, 2023. Stage 1 water shortage rates are the same as regular water service rates, but may increase if a State 2 or Stage 3 shortage has to be declared.
A request was also issued to agricultural water customers to reduce water consumption to the extent practicable, but they are not required to implement any restrictions or mandates for the first 180 days after the County’s official notice.