UH Researchers Prepare for Dry Weather

Roger Corrales
Roger Corrales

WAIMANALO (KHNL) -- In Waimanalo on Oahu's windward coast, University of Hawaii researchers begin to prepare for the worst.

The last major rain here came in March. Not enough to grow corn at the Waimanalo Research Station, so an irrigation system is helping keep the crop alive and healthy. A look at the ground is an indication of how dry things are.

"You can see the soil evidence now of cracking of these clays showing that for the last two and a half months," said UH professor Jim Brewbaker.

Water for the irrigation system comes from the Maunawili Reservoir. Water used to flow freely. Now the systems runs weekdays from 7 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon because of low levels at the reservoir. Anyone on this system is under immediate mandatory conservation measures.

"They put the restriction now so that at least we can conserve water that will put us through this dry summer," said station manager Roger Corrales.

If it gets drier, another option will be to use city and county water which can be costly, especially for those who farm for production.

"It will all be passed done to the consumers because they will charge us for higher cost of the vegetables."

"For us the station it's not really that bad because we're not involved in production farmers are the ones really suffers."

The station recorded one inch of rain in the past two weeks, leaving an unsettling feeling about the upcoming summer season.