waiwai e-newsletter
Thursday, June 23, 2022 | Issue 07

BWS Moving Forward with
Developing Replacement Wells

If there could be assurances that the Halawa Shaft and Aiea and Halawa Wells could safely resume operations without any risk that Oahu’s water supply would become tainted with the Red Hill fuel-contaminated water, there would no longer be an urgent need for water conservation.

Unfortunately, those assurances cannot be made yet. The U.S. Navy has not yet conducted a thorough investigation of the extent of groundwater contamination from the Red Hill fuel leak. The investigation process could take two years. It would require drilling monitoring wells that could take months to complete. It would also require collecting samples from these wells and then using the data for computer modeling to determine the fate and transport of the fuel contamination in the underground aquifer.

For now, the Halawa Shaft and Aiea and Halawa Wells must remain shut down to protect Oahu’s water supply. Instead of waiting for the results of the Red Hill investigation; however, the Board of Water Supply is moving forward and exploring sites for other possible wells in areas such as Waimalu and Moanalua.

But developing new wells and pump stations takes time — as long as five to seven years. It is also very expensive. Even if these wells are integrated with the BWS’s existing pipelines and other existing water system assets, the BWS estimates it could cost as much as $195 million to develop new wells to yield the 17.5 million gallons of water that has been lost from the Halawa Shaft and Aiea and Halawa Wells. BWS has begun to explore the possibility of obtaining federal support for these major, unplanned capital investments. As more details become available, the BWS will keep you updated.


Water Alert: Preparing for the
Hot Summer Months

Based on the remaining available pumping capacities and historical max day demand for the Honolulu and Aiea-Halawa water systems, we expect to be in an “Alert” water shortage condition during the summer months requiring targeted voluntary water conservation.  We expect Oahu residents, businesses and government agencies to collectively reduce their water use such that water demand does NOT approach or exceed available supply leading to a “Critical” water shortage condition, which require progressively restrictive mandatory conservation measures.

"Any mandatory water conservation measure would be openly discussed and include public input before being implemented."

It’s important to note that any mandatory conservation would be openly discussed in a public hearing with the BWS board of directors before any final decisions are made. If we all do our part to conserve now, we will not need to get to this stage! In the meantime, we continue to monitor the water supply and use on a weekly basis.


WaterWisdom Wednesday


All of Oahu’s drinking water comes from underground sources called aquifers. Water protection is grounded in Hawaii’s history, culture, and laws. In Hawaii, groundwater is part of a public trust. Kapua Sproat, Vice Chair of the BWS’s board of directors, shares more on a recent WaterWisdom Wednesday on Hawaii News Now.



Marti Townsend, an attorney with the Sierra Club of Hawaii and Earthjustice, believes it is crucial to shift our thinking to being water stewards by helping to save water when it is abundant and distribute water when it is scarce. This shift will help Hawaii’s people survive the difficulties of the next several summers and to better position our islands to handle the changes imposed by global warming. She shared more in a recent WaterWisdom Wednesday on Hawaii News Now.


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Posted: 06/23/2022