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

Water Scarcity: A National Security Challenge

April 2020:  (Comment:  here is a piece that I co-authored about the international dimensions of the freshwater scarcity problem and implications for US national security) Climate change is responsible for an unprecedented rise in tropical cyclones and other extreme-weather events, but related threats are also manifesting. According to a February 2021 study, rising temperatures may be … Read More...

International Tropical Islands Water Conference

April 2020: (Editor Comment:  This virtual UH sponsored water conference has a small fee for students, but has a very robust schedule of events which will be a "one of a kind" water educational event for Hawai'i) This virtual event will be held April 12-15, 2021 from 11 am – 3 pm Hawaiʻi Standard Time*, and is organized by the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC, Hawaiʻi) and Hawai‘i EPSCoR … Read More...

Scientific breakthrough: First images of freshwater plumes at sea

March 2021: University of Hawaii: The first imaging of substantial freshwater plumes west of Hawaiʻi Island may help water planners to optimize sustainable yields and aquifer storage calculations. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers demonstrated a new method to detect freshwater plumes between the seafloor and ocean surface in a study recently published in Geophysical Research … Read More...

EPA requires seven Kauai cesspools to be closed to protect groundwater, fines Hawai‘i DLNR again

(March '21) Four prior EPA enforcement actions against Hawai‘i DLNR have closed 74 cesspools, collected $407,400 in fines 03/04/2021 Contact Information: Alejandro Diaz ([email protected]) 808-541-2711 (Comment:  Closing "large" cesspools is a good start on closing the 90,000 individual cesspools on the islands by the State's mandated 2050 goal) HONOLULU – The U.S. … Read More...

How Efforts To Save Hawaii’s Forests Are Preventing A ‘Freshwater Crisis’

February '21 repeat of an excellent September '20 Civil Beat article by Claire Caulfield.  (Larry note:  this is a great report on why the forests play a major role in filling the aquifers in Hawaii) When Serene Smalley hikes into the Koolau mountains, her goal is to kill as many plants as possible. Armed with a machete and syringes full of herbicide earlier this summer, her sights were set on … Read More...