Mahalo O‘ahu! Park water reduction efforts exceed expectations
BWS called for a voluntary 10% water reduction last summer, park users reduced their use by 15.4%
News Release from Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation July 6, 2023
O‘AHU – Goal surpassed! A year after the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) asked for your help to reduce water usage in City parks, billing numbers indicate the fresh water usage by the department decreased by more than 15.4%.
In May 2022, DPR pledged to meet and exceed Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s (BWS) call for a 10% reduction in water usage following impacts from the Red Hill fuel crisis.
After analyzing water usage bills from two similar time periods before and after the call, DPR noted a more than 15.4% decrease in fresh water usage across all park operations. From July 2021 to December 2021, DPR recorded 806,907 gallons of fresh water utilized across its inventory of 402 designated park properties on 4,967 acres of land across O‘ahu.
During a similar 6-month period, from July 2022 to December 2022, DPR recorded 682,455 gallons of fresh water used for the same purposes. This also represented a savings of $678,693.71, or a more than 16.5% decrease, in the taxpayer-funded water bill.
“Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo park users of O‘ahu!” said DPR Director Laura H. Thielen. “While we have been working to minimize our usage of this precious resource, and make our water features more efficient, I firmly believe the modified behavior of park users is the greatest contributor towards this exceeded goal. Now more than ever our island ‘ohana understand and respect the importance of our wai in sustaining our communities following the existential threat posed by the Red Hill fuel crisis. A big mahalo to all of our water champions in the Board of Water Supply and community activists who continue to fight to preserve this vital resource. We are happy to continue helping any way we can.”
“We are very appreciative of DPR’s successful efforts to reduce water usage” said Ernest Lau, Manager and Chief Engineer for the BWS. ”They stand as an example of city agencies working together to improve services to our community while protecting our precious natural resources.”
A large part of that effort includes working with the BWS leak detection team to identify and quickly repair water leaks, while continuing to install water-efficient fixtures at parks around the island. Both our energy savings performance contract with NORESCO and in-house comfort station renovations, as part of the Kākou for Parks Program with our specialized maintenance staff, aid with this effort. Most recently, timed beach showers were installed at Ala Moana Regional Park and Sandy Beach Park, with comfort station renovations expected to be completed by the end of July 2023 at Pōka‘ī Bay Beach Park and Kūhiō Beach Park near the HPD’s Waikīkī Substation.
Other DPR water conservation efforts include, but are not limited to:
- Partnering with NOAA and BWS to install rain barrels at two community garden locations
- Installing water conservation signage at high-use beach showers
- Reducing run times of park decorative fountains
- Irrigating during evening hours and reducing water use when possible
In March 2022, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply requested a voluntary 10% water-use reduction for all O‘ahu residents, visitors, businesses, and government agencies following the closure of significant ‘Aiea and Hālawa wells due to the Red Hill fuel contamination crisis. This voluntary, kākou effort helped to avoid mandatory water conservation efforts, with low winter rainfall and current drought conditions additionally impacting water supply during the hot summer months. Leading by example, the City answered BWS’s call by quickly implementing water conservation practices, communicating these initial steps through messaging on World Water Day. These include: similar water efficiency and conservation measures through a City-wide Energy Saving Contract, irrigation modifications at municipal golf courses, increasing the availability of recycled water, continuing to install green storm water infrastructure (i.e. permeable pavement), and collaborating with private entities who consume large amounts of water on efficiency and conservations measures.
To request auxiliary aids or services, accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org at least three business days before the scheduled event. Please note that we may not be able to fulfill requests without sufficient advance notice.
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