What is so important about Molokai’s water situation?

$950K for Na’iwa Subdivision

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Improvements to the Na’iwa Subdivision on Molokai Hawaiian Home Lands are moving forward with the release of an additional $950,000 in capital improvement funds, Sen. Lynn DeCoite announced last week. The funds are allocated for design and engineering services for roadway access, water and electrical service for the subdivision area. 

After years of waiting, the Na’iwa agricultural subdivision in Ho’olehua near the airport, which encompasses 341 acres and 58 lots, is getting infrastructure improvements including access roads, driveways, electrical connections and potable and irrigation water lines. Site inspections and field work for the improvements began in February and March.…

Emergency Repairs Bring Ho’olehua Water Restrictions

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Ho’olehua water users are asked to conserve water usage after a significant leak was discovered in the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ (DHHL) tank. Emergency repairs were initiated last week Monday to the 200,000-gallon tank.

The department days remediation will include the tank being removed from service while a temporary bypass is installed. This temporary fix will allow the water system to remain in usage while permanent repairs are made.

“Ho‘olehua Water System users are asked to immediately reduce their water usage by 25 to 50 percent during the repair period,” said DHHL in a release last week.…

Lead in Molokai School Faucets

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Lead in Molokai School Faucets

By Catherine Cluett Pacol

Water faucets and drinking fountains at schools around the state are being tested for lead content. So far, a faucet at Kilohana School has topped the charts for the highest lead content found in Maui County. Water sources with lead content detected higher than the project action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) are no longer being used while monitoring continues.

About four percent of the water samples collected so far from faucets and drinking fountains at selected Hawaii public schools and child care facilities show elevated concentrations of lead.

The project, launched in February, is a joint effort between the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE), Department of Health (DOH), and Department of Human Services (DHS).…

More Water Allocated for Molokai Homesteaders

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

More Water Allocated for Molokai Homesteaders

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Half a million additional gallons of water per day will be available for new and existing uses for homesteaders on Molokai. A decision by the Hawaiian Commission on Water Resources Management (CWRM) last week approved a permit request from the Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands, marking a long-awaited milestone to increase opportunities for Hawaiian Homesteaders.

“This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act,” said Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. “For nearly 30 of these past 100 years, there has been no expansion of homesteading opportunities on Molokai, despite the best efforts of DHHL and OHA to create such opportunities by upholding DHHLʻs priority right to water in a manner consistent with the public trust, and the state water code.”…

Water Main Break Causes Closures

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Water Main Break Causes Closures

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Some Kaunakakai businesses and a portion of the highway was temporarily closed last Friday when a County water main broke along Kamehameha V Highway in town shortly before 2 p.m. Water shooting high in the air could be seen all the way from Ranch Camp.

Water in Kaunakakai had to be shut down for several hours while the Dept. of Water Supply completed repairs. Traffic was rerouted around the break between Mohala Street and Ailoa Street. A resident of Manila Camp reported water service was restored to that area around 6:30 p.m.…

Molokai Water Use and Development Plan

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

Townscape News Release

Please join us for a Hoʻolauna Meeting, the first community meeting to discuss the Molokai Water Use and Development Plan, on Wednesday, June 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The State of Hawaii Water Code requires each county to develop a Water Use and Development Plan and Maui County has chosen to develop separate plans for Molokai, Lanai and Maui to better address the unique needs of each island. The Molokai Water Use and Development Plan will analyze the island’s water resources and project how future water needs will be met.

The Water Use and Development Plan for the island of Molokai is being updated in a collaboration of Townscape, Inc.,…

Wet Winter Likely to Bring Drought Relief

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

As the western half of Molokai continues to experience extreme drought conditions, weather forecasters are predicting above average rainfall to bring some relief this wet season.

Kevin Kodama of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Honolulu office said though many parts of the state began the summer drought-free due to extra wet conditions early this year, parts of Maui County, including Molokai, were an exception to that. Maui County had a drier-than-normal wet season last winter, worsening the current drought conditions.

“[Maui County] got a head start as far as drought,” Kodama said. “By the end of September, they ended up with the worst drought conditions across the state.…

Hoʻolehua Water Conservation

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Hoʻolehua Water Conservation

DHHL News Release

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is asking all Hoʻolehua Water System customers to reduce their water consumption for necessary purposes only through the month of October.

Large quantities of water use, along with drought conditions, have impacted the Hoʻolehua Water System storage tanks. The tanks are currently below expected levels and the pumps are unable to keep up with the demand.

DHHL advises all customers to reduce their water usage by 25 to 50 percent using the following tips:

· Repair faucet leaks and water line leaks
· Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth
· Shorten shower time
· Install aerators and low-flow showerheads
· Reduce or eliminate watering of lawns or filling up “kiddie” pools

Customer efforts in reducing water usage will allow the tanks to replenish and avert the need for more restrictive measures.…

Extreme Drought Conditions Continue

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Extreme Drought Conditions Continue

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

It comes as no surprise to many Molokai residents that the island is in a serious drought. With parts of Molokai suffering from conditions recently classified as extreme drought, farmers are and their crops are among those particularly affected.

According to the national U.S. Drought Monitor, with data updated on Sept. 15, the west end of Molokai is already indicated at D3, extreme drought category, and one of the only areas in Hawaii under than classification.

Those conditions will likely continue through the fall, stated an Aug. 20 outlook issued by NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Any rainfall that does occur will probably continue to favor the east-facing windward slopes, with leeward areas becoming drier.…

Ualapue Shaft Tested Positive for E. Coli

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

County of Maui News Release

The Maui Department of Water Supply detected E. coli bacteria in the Ualapue Shaft on Molokai on April 7, in a water sample collected the previous day. E. coli testing takes 18 hours to complete. It is important for residents to note that this detection was in the shaft itself and not in the water source.

A resampling of water from the Ualapue Shaft the following day, April 8, was confirmed to meet federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health water quality standards. It did not contain any traces of E. coli contamination.

The water in the Ualapue system remains safe to drink, because it has been disinfected, and no E.…