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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Water use must be controlled carefully

Compared to many Western states, where water is a constant and unrelenting concern, most of Hawai'i has been blessed with an abundant supply of pure rain-fed water.

But with increasing urbanization and several years of near-drought conditions, that picture is changing. Pumping of underground water on O'ahu has nearly reached its maximum yield.

That's dangerous, because if too much fresh water is pumped from the aquifer, salt water intrudes, making the supply less ready for drinking. The situation has caused the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to increase its public education effort on conservation and careful use of water.

Similar calls for voluntary conservation have gone out on Maui and the Big Island.

It is important that every consumer of water voluntarily reduce use wherever possible. Small changes can add up to considerable water savings. And they help head off the more difficult step of mandatory water-use restrictions.