Amid extreme drought, Maui residents prohibited from non-essential use of water

All non-essential use of water is banned for Upcountry and West Maui, including washing vehicles and watering lawns.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:23 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:14 PM HST
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MAKAWAO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Upcountry and West Maui residents have been banned starting Thursday from using non-essential water, said officials.

That means no washing vehicles or watering lawns until further notice.

The restrictions are because of extreme drought conditions on Maui.

For Makawao residents Gladys and Sherman Baisa, it’s no problem.

“We don’t have dishwashers. We wash by hand because we don’t want to waste water,” said Gladys. “We save the dishwater, put it in a bucket and take it outside to water our roses and the things that we really value, our vegetables.”

Her husband Sherman has been strictly following and enforcing water rules since the 1990s.

“My job was to drive around upcountry, look for who is wasting water, like watering yard, washing the driveway or whatever,” Sherman said. “And I used to turn off meters.”

Breaking the rules could result in a $500 fine and possible loss of a water meter.

“The hospitality industry is already on board. We’ve sent them notices. They are putting it in their rooms,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. “So, we are trying to let the public and the visitors know alike.”

Maui County’s Water Director Helene Kau said they are evaluating possibilities for expansion and pursuing other avenues for source development.

But that process could take years and millions of dollars.

In the meantime, conservation is key.

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