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Thursday, November 16, 2023
Water May Run Out due to Fire-Related Power Outages
By News Release @ 10:44 PM :: 1896 Views :: Hawaii County

Water Preparedness for Extended Power Outages

News Release from DWS, Nov 16, 2023

The Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawai‘i, requires a significant amount of dependable electricity to move approximately 25 million gallons of water each day and deliver it to more than 45,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community facilities located throughout much of Hawai‘i Island.

Hawaiian Electric mentioned in its a November 3 news release regarding their Wildfire Safety Strategy, “If a fault or disturbance is detected on a circuit, power lines in risk areas shut off automatically until crews visually confirm that it is safe to restore power. This may result in longer outages in some areas, including outages that last overnight” www.hawaiianelectric.com/hawaiianelectric-advances-wildfire-safety-strategy-expands-grid-resilience-work.

DWS utilizes backup generators at key well sites to help maintain a limited amount of water service during temporary power outages, however, an extended power outage could leave portions of DWS’ water systems empty and customers with no water. Should this scenario be anticipated, DWS will instruct its affected customers to use their tap water only for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes to preserve the limited amount of available potable water. Irrigation, car washing, and non-essential uses of water would be suspended until power is restored.

DWS strongly urges its customers and those who depend on a continuous supply of DWS water to review their personal situations and prepare accordingly. Customers should have alternate sources of potable water and enough supply to meet their essential needs during a prolonged power outage that disrupts DWS service. Ways to safely store drinking water are listed in the Water Emergency Preparedness guide available under the “Community” drop-down menu option on the Department’s website, www.hawaiidws.org.

Updated messaging will be posted at www.hawaiidws.org and on the DWS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HawaiiDWS/. To reach the DWS, please call (808) 961-8050 during normal business hours, (808) 961-8790 for after-hour emergencies, or email: dws@hawaiidws.org.

This is your Hawaiʻi County Department of Water Supply.

  *   *   *   *   *

Water Supply Prepares for Forecasted Extended Drought

News Release from DWS, Nov 14, 2023

The Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawai‘i, has undertaken a multi-phased strategy aimed at meeting customers’ and the public’s essential drinking water needs during the ongoing islandwide drought that weather experts predict will extend well into 2024.

Providing customers with an adequate and reliable supply of safe drinking water in a financially responsible manner is DWS’ mission. Fulfilling this mission becomes more challenging when reduced rainfall creates severe or extreme drought conditions which the U.S. Drought Monitor reports are now occurring … "StateDroughtMonitor".

The DWS’ drought strategy includes the following measures:

  • Participating with partners in a Hawai‘i County Water Needs working group convened by the Civil Defense Agency to prepare for the extended dry weather conditions;
  • Conserving water storage, where possible, to meet anticipated demands, including fire protection;
  • Preparing to establish temporary services from select fire hydrants so approved commercial water haulers will have more sites from which to draw potable water to assist those on personal rainwater catchment systems;
  • Considering adding additional public spigot locations to make water access more convenient and available for people not served by a DWS water system;
  • Utilizing generators to power crucial water facilities during temporary electrical outages;
  • Continuing to promote water conservation and restriction notices, including mandating, if warranted, customers to limit their water use to only essential needs (drinking, cooking, personal hygiene, sanitation);
  • Issuing timely notices informing customers how their water service could be or is being impacted by extended drought and/or red flag warning conditions;
  • Posting updated messaging at www.hawaiidws.org and on the DWS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HawaiiDWS/ and;
  • Closely monitoring both the Department’s 23 public water systems and the latest weather forecasts to remain informed and prepared for potential impacts.

Water customers can do their part to use drinking water wisely and prevent waste. For helpful water conservation tips, please visit www.hawaiidws.org/conservation-resources/.

To reach the DWS, please call (808) 961-8050 during normal business hours, (808) 961-8790 for after-hour emergencies, or email: dws@hawaiidws.org.

---30---

KHON: Prepare for extended outages, no water: Hawaii County officials

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