North Kona’s mandatory water reduction ends after 362 days

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Big Island officials turned the water back on in North Kona following a mandatory conservation order that lasted nearly a year.

The county’s Department of Water Supply on Tuesday downgraded the mandatory 25 percent water usage reduction to 10 percent voluntary water conservation, West Hawaii Today reported . The mandatory order was in effect for 362 days.

“The department feels confident that the water needs of the community will be met with the 10 (percent) voluntary conservation in effect and will continue to monitor the water system and make adjustments as necessary,” a Department of Water Supply news release said.

The change came three weeks after contractors finished repairing the Keopu deep well, reducing the number of offline water sources in the region to three.

Deep wells at Keahuolu and Hualalai, both of which were repaired in 2017 only to fail again shortly remain inoperative. The deep well at Waiaha is last on the department’s priority list, as its repair will require fishing out equipment lost after an excavation cable snapped over the summer.

No timelines exist for the return of any of the three wells.

Construction projects such as the Manawalea Street extension, part of the state’s large-scale housing and commercial development that requires abundant water, were put on hold for months as officials struggled with five simultaneously inoperative deep wells.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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