waiwai e-newsletter
Tuesday, May 5, 2022 | Issue 05

Aquifers: Pure, Clean Water

Aquifers deserve protection for good reason. An aquifer is a body of fresh water that exists within O‘ahu's porous volcanic rock. The aquifer that is located below the Red Hill fuel storage tanks is one of 26 aquifers on the island. They are all connected to each other and the fresh water aquifers float on salt water.

On a typical day, about two billion gallons of rain fall on O‘ahu. Almost a third replenishes the island's aquifers, another third nurtures vegetation and evaporates, and the final third is discharged as runoff into the ocean.

The water in aquifers is among the cleanest in the world, purified through years of percolating downward through soil and volcanic rock. The Board of Water Supply pumps water from the aquifers through wells, shafts, and tunnels, so that when you turn on the faucet in your home or business, you have fresh, clean water.


Follow the Raindrops...
The Importance of Watersheds

A watershed is an area of land, encompassing a mountain or a valley, that catches and collects rainwater. On O‘ahu, there are two main regional watersheds: one in the Ko‘olau Mountains and the other in the Wai‘anae Mountains.

The Board of Water Supply’s main product is intricately linked to a sound ecosystem. That’s why the BWS strives to create an optimal environment that ensures as much of the rainfall in O‘ahu’s watersheds seeps into the ground and filters through rocks to recharge underground water sources. This water is ultimately used to meet the needs of the island, now and into the future. The rain we have today will one day be in our water supply in the future!


Why are Invasive Plant Species
Bad for Our Water Supply?

Watershed protection focuses on cultivating the right type of trees and ground coverings that create a strong root system to stabilize the ground and avoid runoff into the ocean. Think of our forests as a giant, multi-tiered sponge.

Invasive plant species such as strawberry guava (shown in the photo below) rob native plants of water, nutrients, and crowd them out. Invasive species also do not retain water for the plants and shrubs surrounding them and instead create conditions that result in more soil erosion — the very things that work against replenishing groundwater.

Watershed areas are our ticket to water security. In addition to conserving water, you can protect O‘ahu’s water supply by making sure you do not spread or propagate invasive species by cleaning your hiking shoes before and after hiking in the forest. 

Read more about watershed protection at https://www.boardofwatersupply.com/water-resources/watersheds-on-oahu


Labor-Free Water Conservation Tips

Water conservation offers you legitimate reasons to avoid two chores you may not enjoy doing: washing the dishes and washing your car.

  • Use a Dishwasher
    It may seem counterintuitive, but when you wash dishes by hand, you use more water —  an estimated 27 gallons of water. But when you wash dishes with an energy-efficient dishwasher, you only use three gallons of water! Just remember to scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, and only operate the dishwasher when it’s completely full.
  • Let Professionals Wash Your Car
    Now you have a legitimate reason to take your vehicle to a car wash. Instead of washing your own car, take it to a water-efficient car wash to do the dirty work. You could save up to 100 gallons of water.


Sign up for our Waiwai E-newsletter

Posted: 05/03/2022