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Wednesday, November 08, 2017
$150M Rate Hike Plan--BWS Accepting Comments
By News Release @ 12:12 AM :: 1762 Views :: Honolulu County, Cost of Living

Board of Water Supply Asks for Community Input for Financial Plan and Water Rate Study

News Release from BWS, October 31, 2017

HONOLULU – The Board of Water Supply (BWS) is seeking public input on how to best support the sustainability of Oahu’s water resources, for its financial plan and water rate study, via an online survey on its website at www.boardofwatersupply.com. The survey asks for customer opinions regarding the cost of water service, conservation, sustainability, infrastructure, special subsidies, and rates.

The financial plan will guide the BWS on how to pay for water facilities and programs, using both cash and borrowing. The water rate study will inform the BWS on how much to charge its customers.

“We want input from all Oahu water users – even if they don’t pay a water bill – to ensure that we are addressing their concerns appropriately,” stated BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau. “In addition, this information will be used to develop questions for focus group research to be held early in 2018. All of the results will be shared with the BWS Board of Directors as they discuss and decide future rate structure and increases.” 

BWS is reaching out through the Neighborhood Board system, the Stakeholder Advisory Group that helped develop the Water Master Plan, and employees, to ask people to take the short survey. The survey link is located on the homepage of BWS website at boardofwatersupply.com: click the “View now” button and you will be taken to the survey.

All responses are anonymous but additional comments can be sent to contactus@hbws.org. Initial deadline for responses is November 30, 2017; however, BWS will keep the survey up for as long as the community provides input.

For questions regarding the survey, please call Kathleen Pahinui at (808) 748-5319.

About the Board of Water Supply

The Board of Water Supply (BWS), a semi-autonomous agency of the City and County of Honolulu, manages Oahu’s municipal water resources and distribution system.  As the largest water utility in the State, the BWS serves approximately one million customers on Oahu.  The BWS embraces its mission of “Water for Life – Ka Wai Ola”—to provide a safe, dependable, and affordable water supply, now and into the future.  Uwē  ka lani, ola ka honua – “When the heavens weep, the earth lives.”  For more information, visit www.boardofwatersupply.com.

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BWS has ambitious goal for tackling water main breaks (and it won't be cheap)

HNN: …"We experience about 25 to 30 main breaks a month, that runs us to about 300 or so per year which is the national average," said BWS information officer Kathleen Pahinui.

She said workers currently replace 6 to 10 miles of pipeline annually. The agency hopes to eventually accelerate the replacement, switching out 21 miles of pipeline annually.

"That, of course, requires a certain amount of investment into the system, not just rate payers money, but also bonds and things like that," explained Pahinui. "So we're looking at all options that are available to us to get up to that point."

BWS officials anticipate that it will take a decade for crews to ramp up and reach the new replacement goal. They expect the number of water main breaks to drop to 250 each year.

"You're never not going to have water main breaks because remember, you're only replacing 21 miles of pipe per year, and you have 2,100 miles. It's going to take you quite awhile to replace the entire system," said Pahinui.

She said improvement costs would go up incrementally over time, from an average of $100 to $150 million a year to between $200 and $250 million annually.

The last rate hike was two years ago. Pahinui said the next increase could happen in 2019….

read … BWS has ambitious goal for tackling water main breaks (and it won't be cheap)

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