Drought conditions plaguing parts of Maui County, Big Island

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Despite heavy rainfall that drenched most of Oahu and Kaua'i last month, the National Weather Service says extreme drought conditions are plaguing certain areas across the state.

According to a statement from the N.W.S., the leeward areas of Maui, Molokai and the Big Island are still experiencing drought conditions ranging from "severe" to "exceptional."

On Maui, drought conditions remain over the southwest slope of Haleakala, where some ranchers have reportedly destocked pastures in the areas area because of poor conditions. The Maui Department of Water Supply is continuing to call for a 5% reduction in water use for upcountry residents, and a request for a 10% reduction in water used by residents in Central and South Maui is also still in effect.

Water levels in the Kualapuu Reservoir on Molokai increased several feet but remain very low, and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture has continued a mandatory 30% reduction in the use of water for irrigation purposes.

Axis deer on Lanai have reportedly been encroaching on more populated areas of the island to forage for food due to poor supplies in normal feeding areas.

The south Kohala district of the Big Island has been hit particularly hard. Reports indicate that there is virtually no edible forage for livestock, with ranchers in the area already destocking cattle. Kona coffee growers have had to irrigate more than normal to sustain their orchards.

The National Weather Service says that conditions on Oahu improved after last month's rainfall, but a mandatory 10% reduction remained in place as a precaution heading into drier months.

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