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The Board of Water Supply (BWS) utilized scientific methods to prioritize watersheds on Oahu from a water supply perspective. This effort resulted in identifying the most important watersheds that provide critical sources of fresh water supply, enabling BWS to focus watershed management efforts and funding.
A primary goal of the BWS is to ensure an adequate supply of fresh water for current and future generations. In this regard, the capacity of Oahu's watersheds to capture and store precipitation is critical: it is the sole natural source of fresh water supply for the island.
Our BWS Canopy Interception Study attempts to quantify differences in rainfall capture between native and invasive forests found in the Waianae Mountains. This aspect of the water budget of Oahu's watersheds (and of watersheds in general) has not been well-studied. Until recently, the only similar research in Hawaii was located in high-elevation "cloud forest" terrain on the island of Hawaii, where fog drip is a primary component of precipitation. Because that research was not representative of the majority of forested areas on Oahu, this study was established as a first step to address Oahu's forests.
Improved understanding of native versus invaded forest rainfall capture on Oahu will further enable BWS to focus watershed management efforts and funding appropriately.
The Ala Wai Watershed Study is a joint-agency flood and ecosystem management study lead by the Army Corps of Engineers with State and County involvement. For more information, visit the Army Corps of Engineers' Ala Wai Canal Project page.
The Central Oahu Watershed Study was an overview of watershed information pertinent to the area and will be used by the BWS to develop Watershed Management Plans for the Central Oahu and Ewa Development Plan areas, and parts of the Primary Urban Center. Using this overview, resource problems and issues were identified. Potential projects and programs to remediate these issues were then investigated and outlined.
The West Honolulu Watershed Study was a joint study by BWS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) and the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to provide a holistic, comprehensive analysis of watershed data, problems and issues and to conceptualize and describe potential watershed restoration projects and actions.
The study area consists of the ahupuaa of Moanalua, Kahauiki, Kalihi, Kapalama, Nuuanu and Pauoa. The area encompasses approximately 33.5 square miles.