BWS Initiatives > Water Shortage Plan

Board Adopts Water Shortage Plan Response & Recovery Plan

NOVEMBER 28, 2022 – The final draft of the Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan was approved by the Board of Water Supply Board of Directors during its regular November meeting.




WHEREAS, Board of Water Supply, City and County of Honolulu, desires to adopt the Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan to provide strategic and tactical procedures to assess the need to declare a water shortage condition and control water demand during water shortages caused by low groundwater levels, contamination or infrastructure disruptions; and

WHEREAS, the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility fuel release has contaminated the underlying aquifer causing BWS to shut down the Halawa Shaft, Halawa Wells and Aiea Wells as a precautionary measure to protect the sources, and to slow the migration of the contaminant plume across Halawa Valley; and

WHEREAS, the City Charter directs the Board to prescribe and enforce Rules and Regulations having the force and effect of law for the prevention of waste and pollution of water and in times of shortage or threatened shortage of water or of danger to potability of the water of any ground water basin or area by overdraft on such basin, the restriction of the drawing of water in all wells supplied from such basin on a basis proportionate to the proper and beneficial uses served by them respectively; and

WHEREAS, BWS Rules and Regulations Section 2-209 states whenever, in the Department's opinion, special conservation measures are advisable in order to forestall water shortages, the Department may restrict the use of water by any means or method of control; and

WHEREAS, The Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan establishes water shortage triggers for Alert and Critical conditions and progressively restrictive water conservation measures including voluntary and mandatory conservation, restrictions on building approvals, rate surcharges, exceptions, appeals and penalties; and

WHEREAS, the Manager and Chief Engineer and staff have performed an extensive and transparent outreach effort to inform elected officials, stakeholders and the public about the Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Members of the Board of Water Supply, City And County of Honolulu, that the Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan dated October 2022 be adopted with the understanding that the plan may be revised from time to time for non-substantive adjustments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Manager shall have the authority to implement the plan with the understanding that Board action is required to declare and terminate mandatory water conservation in a critical water shortage condition and any restrictions on building approvals.

Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan Draft

OCTOBER 12, 2022 – The Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan Draft will provide the Honolulu Board of Water Supply with strategic and tactical steps to assess the need to declare a water shortage and manage water demands related to a water shortage condition.

A water shortage condition exists when water supply is not available to meet existing and/or future max day water demands due to degradation of water quality or extended drought or disruptions to water system delivery infrastructure.

This plan provides recommended triggers, procedures and implementation actions to respond to a water shortage condition. The actual order in which response procedures are implemented during any specific water shortage will be at BWS’s discretion to most effectively respond to the situation.

The objectives of the water shortage procedures are to reduce potable water use, prevent water service disruptions, low water pressures and groundwater quality degradation from overdraft.

BWS Public Hearing
Monday, November 28, 2022
- Recording: Watch the video

Questions or Comments? 
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- Call: (808) 748-5319

Updated: 12/18/2022