(LK comment: Jacob is right on… In addition to conservation and reuse, Hawaii needs to begin to think about a Desal pilot program just in case. The price of Desal has significantly decreased and we have seen what one Red Hill situation can cause and we have not seen the end of this crisis.) April 2022, Civil Beat Opinion Jacob Wiencek: Late last year a devastating water crisis hit Hawaii as thousands of gallons of fuel from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility leaked into the groundwater.
Thousands of mostly military families were relocated out of housing and the crisis worsened military-community relations given the preceding years of intense debate about the environmental impact of the facility.
However, most disturbingly it revealed a fundamental weakness that impacts not just Honolulu but all of Hawaii: our near single source dependence on underground aquifers presents an enduring threat to the state’s water security.
The Red Hill crisis is not the only water crisis to face Hawaii in the recent past. Maui County had to issue a water conservation noticethat inflamed an age-old debate about balancing water for residents and one of our primary economic pillars, tourism.
More broadly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration holds that the entire state of Hawaii is either in abnormally dry conditions or at least moderate to severe drought.
Whether through a man-made crisis or climate change we are facing increasing pressure on our water resources — and that pressure will only intensify as Hawaii’s population continues to grow (we clocked a 7% growth rate from 2010-2020).
To see the rest of this excellent piece see: https://www.civilbeat.org/2022/04/red-hill-crisis-underscores-water-insecurity-in-hawaii/