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

10/15/21-PARTICIPATE IN “IMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT WATER” NEXT WEEK

(October 2021) (DLNR/Honolulu) – Imagine a Day Without Water, on Oct. 21 is a day to pause and reflect on the value of water in our daily lives. COVID-19 and the climate crisis have underscored the critical role that natural and man-made water systems play in our communities. They protect our health and safeguard the environment. DLNR is partnering with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply for this … Read More...

NEW HAWAII STORMWATER UTILITY SPARKS STATE EXEMPTION DEBATE

(August 2021) By Justin Jacques, Water Environment Federation.  On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, efforts have been underway since 2015 to establish a stormwater utility that would charge each of the island’s property owners a monthly fee based on the amount of impervious area their land contains. The decision would provide Honolulu and its neighboring municipalities with a new, dedicated funding … Read More...

How Water In Hawaii Became A Matter Of Public Trust

(September) By Chad Blair in Civil Beat.  Article XI, Section I of the Hawaii Constitution states that, for the benefit of all generations, the state and its political subdivisions shall conserve and protect all of its natural resources, including water. Water along with land, air, minerals and energy sources are held in public trust, a major outcome of the 1978 Constitutional … Read More...

‘It’s Not Sexy’: Kahele Eyes Overdue Hawaii Projects For Biden’s Jobs Plan

April 2021/ Civil Beat, Nick Grube: Before U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele returned to Washington last week, he joined professional surfer Laird Hamilton for a boat tour of the Hanalei River on Kauai. Hamilton pointed out the invasive hau bush along the riverbanks and talked to the congressman about the heavy rains that erode the hillsides and submerge the roadways, occasionally cutting off the tiny North … Read More...

Water Scarcity: A National Security Challenge

April 2021:  (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...