Grappling with water shortage ‘crisis,’ West Maui residents demand answers

About 800 customers in West Maui had no water or low water pressure because of ongoing drought conditions and a construction pipe that was impacting flow.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:40 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 7:55 PM HST
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KAHANA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Following an urgent water conservation request issued last week, West Maui residents are grappling with what they called a water shortage “crisis.”

They are demanding a solution — and an explanation.

Some have been struggling with little to no water pressure for more than a week.

Water tanks are lined along Lower Honoapiilani Highway and Ala Hoku Place in Kahana.

A resident who lives on Ala Hoku Place in Kahana took video of him turning on his faucet Wednesday morning and no water coming out.

He said water has been on and off for over a week — and when it’s on, it’s only a little trickle.

“Not enough water for the whole week,” said Ala Hoku Place resident Domingo Cortez. “We cannot flush the toilet. We cannot take a shower.”

The Department of Water Supply said the water conservation request was issued because “despite recent rainfall, source water supply is at insufficient levels to maintain the Mahinahina Water Treatment Facility.”

County officials said about 800 customers in West Maui had no water or low water pressure because of ongoing drought conditions. There was also a construction pipe that was impacting flow.

Officials added that all those issues had been fixed on Wednesday.

However, residents are still reporting problems.

“We’re talking about no water for bathing, no water for sanitation, we’re talking about families with little kids with no water, who have to come with buckets to a water truck,” said State Sen. Angus McKelvey who represents West Maui.

Although it is a county issue, McKelvey said he is trying to help state side, and has asked Governor Josh Green for an emergency proclamation to release stream water temporarily.

“Clearly, in my mind, that’s an emergency situation that is worthy of a proclamation,” McKelvey said.

“The governor and I share a commitment to the environment in protecting our natural resources,” McKelvey added. “So it was made clear in our conversations that any kind of proclamation would be very limited.”

The county said it is continuing to conduct daily checks on water pressure and hasn’t found ongoing problems.

They are asking for patience as they address the situation.

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