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For Immediate Release
October 7, 2020

Drought Conditions Prompt Calls for Efficient Water Use on Oahu

HONOLULU – Concerned about less-than-50 percent-of-normal average rainfall for the past five months on Oahu and persisting drought conditions, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) is asking island residents and businesses to conserve water as much as possible now and through the fall season.

Reduced rainfall is preventing adequate recharge of Oahu aquifers, and the National Weather Service has predicted low average rainfall for this month. Even if the weather brings more rain later this year, the island’s sources need time to rebuild storage capacity. 

“We need to reduce overall island demand to protect our groundwater resources from depleting,” said BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau. “This is necessary to ensure that Oahu’s drinking water supply remains healthy and sustainable over the long term.”

Oahu consumers are urged to be mindful of their water use in their daily activities by adopting practices that avoid water waste, such as those posted online in the BWS’s Seven Easy Ways to Save Water at  Here are three out of the seven tips:

  • Water your lawn and garden before 9 AM or after 5 PM.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Don’t let the faucet run and run.

“Every conservation effort is meaningful and makes a difference,” Lau said. “If we each save a little water, together we’ll save a lot.”

Meanwhile, the BWS is working to ensure that its own water system and fixtures are as water-tight as possible. It has also reached out to city and state agencies and to the military to ask for their support in being alert for, and addressing as soon as possible, water waste occurring on their properties – especially from irrigation systems.

Additionally, the public can call the BWS’s water waste hotline at 748-5041 or email to report misuse of water. Please provide details such as how water is being wasted, location, time of day and, if possible, contact information.

“We thank the community for their cooperation in the past and humbly ask for their continued support to lower water demand during this time,” Lau said.

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, follow @BWSHonolulu or like the BWS’s Facebook page at



Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui
Information Officer
Honolulu Board of Water Supply
Phone: (808) 748-5319