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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
County of Maui News Release
The County of Maui Departments of Finance and Water Supply will be waiving all credit card convenience and transaction fees for online payments for Real Property tax, Solid Waste and Water bills.
The credit card convenience and transaction fees will be waived until June 30.
The announcement follows White House recommendations that advises the public to avoid gatherings of no more than 10 people, and to encourage social distancing for the benefit of County employees and residents.
“My administration continues to look for immediate ways we can make County services safer and easier for our residents and County employees,” Mayor Michael Victorino said.…
On Thursday, Dec. 8, the water source for Ualapue in east Molokai tested positive for E. coli bacteria. The water remained safe to drink, however, because water in the distribution system is disinfected, according to county Department of Water Supply (DWS) officials.
The water sample that tested positive for the bacteria was collected on Dec. 7 in the Ualapue Shaft, a well source water located mauka of the highway near Ualapue. No E. coli was found in the distribution system, so officials gave the all-clear to continue drinking the water.
The presence of E. coli can indicate contamination in the water from human or animal waste, according to the DWS.…
After seven months of many six-hour-long meetings and much debate and community testimony, the first phase of the Molokai Community Plan Update process has come to a close. The volunteer board of Community Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) members wrapped up their duties of review last month, though the updated plan is still a year and a half away from being completed and the opportunities for public feedback are far from over.
County Senior Planner Jennifer Maydan said the Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) will begin its review of the draft plan on Nov. 12 during the group’s regular meeting.
“At the meeting they will decide if they will continue to review the draft plan during their regular meetings or in a separate track,” said Maydan, via email.…
A $1.2 million project to replace a 19,500-gallon steel water tank in Ho`olehua with a sturdier concrete tank is nearing completion. It’s a replacement that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) hopes will provide a better long-term solution for water pressure problems in the area.
Almost two decades ago, a steel tank was installed to help regulate water pressure, after some homeowners complained of weak water flow or overly powerful flow from showers and sinks, said DHHL Molokai Acting District Supervisor Halealoha Ayau.
However, the salty air took its toll on the steel, and the tank sustained damage from residents who sometimes use it for rifle target practice, said Ayau.…
DLNR News Release
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) invites the Molokai community and interested parties to an informational meeting concerning a proposed fencing and management project in the Waikolu Valley and Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve areas. The purpose of the proposed project is to protect the natural resources of the Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve (NAR) while improving hunting opportunities within the Molokai Forest Reserve hunting units. The fence will help to prevent entry of pigs, goats and deer into the NAR and help to prevent erosion into nearshore waters, protect fisheries and water supplies, and conserve native Hawaiian plants and wildlife.…
Proposed environmental soil and groundwater testing near the wharf in Kaunakakai will take place next year to assess levels of petroleum from historic leaks. The routine testing will be performed by Chevron Environmental Management Company (CEMC) and includes evaluating the facility currently owned by Island Petroleum, Inc., and the surrounding area where their terminal is located.
“Over the years, releases of petroleum have occurred which is not uncommon in industrial areas,” said CEMC Project Manager Karl Bewley.
According to Bewley, the work CEMC will perform is a standard approach to determine if there are environmental impacts resulting from past and current petroleum terminal operations. …