New Well Ends Water Restrictions on Big Island Reservoir

WAIMEA, Hawaii (KHNL) -- Residents of Waimea are under 25 % water restrictions, and while summer showers aren't in their forecast, they could soon see some relief.

Waimea is dry, dusty and hot, but up in the mountains, there is water. A lot of water, in fact.

But as the mountain rains runoff down the hillside, there just isn't anywhere to put it.

Two of the three 50 million-gallon reservoirs were damaged by last year's earthquake, so water capacity is only around half of what it could be.

But a new well should go online this week, and that could mean the end to water restrictions.

"It will be producing enough water to meet some of our needs," said Milton Pavao, manager of Department of Water Supply. "It won't completely replace the surface flows but it is our intent to lift the restrictions once we get the Department of Health approval. And once the well is fully functional."

The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply hopes to have one of the two damaged wells completely working by the end of 2008.

The other expected to be fixed after that, but while work is being done, the supplemental wells will keep Waimea from going dry.