Rainfall & Drought

Climate change has brought about a change in rainfall patterns which is generally decreasing rain in formerly dry areas and increasing rainfall in the wet areas. We need to find ways to take advantage of these new patterns by capturing more of the rainfall and diverting it to the dryer areas.

Rainfall Issues

The Aquifers

Much of Hawaii's pristine fresh water comes from its volcanic stone aquifers. The increasing demands for water from Hawaii's increased population and tourist industry, combined with rising ocean levels have shrunk the supply of fresh water in the aquifers, particularly on Oahu.

Groundwater Issues

Rivers & Streams

The flow of fresh water streams and rivers in Hawaii have also significantly declined. At the same time, shrinking government funding has curtailed stream level tests and sampling so the decline is uncharted.

Rivers & Streams Issues

Water Conservation

Water conservation is the key to preserving Hawaii's dwindling freshwater supply. Many mainland cities have successfully used new methods of conservation as part of their future water plans. Water rates need to be utilized which encourage users that are conserving water at the same time as punishing water wasters.

Conservation Issues

News & Research

New research shows how submarine groundwater affects coral reef growth

April 2018: University of Hawaii. Groundwater that seeps into the coastal zone beneath the ocean's surface--termed submarine groundwater discharge (SGD)--is an important source of fresh water and nutrients to nearshore coral reefs throughout the globe. Although submarine groundwater is natural, it can act as a conduit for highly polluted water to shorelines. A recently published study, led by … Read More...

Maui County to appeal wastewater discharge case to US Supreme Court

April 2018: LAHAINA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County could is gearing up for a legal battle over wastewater. County officials say they will appeal its Lahaina wastewater case to the U.S. Supreme Court. That's after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Friday rejected the County's petition to reconsider it's February ruling that said the county violated the Clean Water Act. Since the … Read More...

Assessing Eutrophication Potential of a Freshwater Lake by Relating Its Bioproductivity and Biodiversity: A Case Study of Lake Wilson on Central Oahu, Hawaii

March 2018: University of Hawaii, Tsu Chuan Lee, Clark Liu. Summary: The reduction of the biodiversity of a mesotrophic lake can be used in water quality management as a warning sign of an imminent algal bloom. Algal bloom in a freshwater lake is a rapid increase of aquatic plants, which disrupts the ecological balance and its potential for beneficial uses. This problem has been managed by … Read More...

Earthjustice cases restoring water to native streams…

Feb 2018: Earthjustice. Water in Hawaiʻi is a public trust resource, protected under the state Constitution and Water Code. Plantations diverted many Hawaiian streams to water sugar cane and pineapple fields, drying out and destroying the native life and Hawaiian communities connected with those streams. Now that plantations are in decline, the water can be restored to the native streams. A … Read More...

New State of Hawaii Brown Water Beach Website

December:  (Kobayashi Comment: This new State of Hawaii website is an excellent example of the fusion of GIS mapping capabilities with water data.  I strongly support such efforts and commend the DOH and Clean Water Branch for taking this first step) HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Water Branch has developed a newly upgraded website that gives the public access to … Read More...