Press Release, Department of Hawaiian Homelands
HOOLEHUA, Molokai – Repairs to Department of Hawaiian Homeland’s two water pumps at the Kalae water well that began in early November and impacted hundreds of homesteaders in the Hoolehua area on Molokai continues. Residents and businesses in the affected areas are reminded to continue necessary water conservation efforts by restricting lawn watering, avoid washing cars and taking shorter showers. Non-essential water use should be limited.
In order to maintain safe water levels in the water reservoir, a temporary four-inch emergency water line was installed. Since the four-inch line is smaller than normal, a lesser amount of water is being pumped to meet the needs of water users in the Hoolehua and Kalamaula areas. As a result, on November 10, DHHL issued a 50 percent reduction notice to Hoolehua residents to help lessen the risk of running out of water while the repairs are being completed.
Continuing a support partnership between the County of Maui and other Molokai water suppliers, the County’s water system is helping to supply water to DHHL’s system during repairs. Earlier this year, when the County’s system underwent emergency repairs – DHHL provided water to the County to assist Kaunakakai residents by maintaining safe water levels for the Kaunakakai water reservoir.
To ensure that fire suppression needs are not compromised for both the impacted Hoolehua area and the surrounding areas providing water support, Fire Department Captain Travis Tancayo headed a coordinated effort between agencies to avert any escalation of the situation. Tancayo credits the work of many in helping to prevent a dangerously low water supply situation from worsening.
“With the guidance of Pacific Electro’s Marty Johnston, the group was able to collaborate and resolve how to get needed water to the reservoir while DHHL’s pumps were under repair,” said Tancayo. “Everyone involved worked weekends and nights to develop the response plan, get materials and lay pipes so that people could have water available. We’re very grateful for Kualapuu Ranch and ranch owner Kevin Komkowich’s assistance. The pipes were laid on the ranch’s property and their support and understanding of the urgency were instrumental. We were then faced with needing to cut the road to lay the temporary water line and Pedro Ranch stepped forward with heavy equipment to help get this done. By having many people and agencies work together we were able to respond rapidly and help our community and that also includes our residents and businesses that took steps to immediately conserve water. The public’s help is always crucial and appreciated”
Anita Wong, DHHL’s deputy director gave special recognition to Molokai Properties. The company reactivated its Well 17 in order to provide a needed water source for the Kalae Reservoir. “Molokai Properties’ help with Well 17 was essential,” said Wong. “Rex Kamakana and the water department personnel worked tirelessly to make it happen and we appreciate their hard work these past few weeks.” Wong also commended Monsanto for the company’s help with providing 2,700 ft of a high density 4”water line pipe needed to allow for water to flow to the reservoir from Well 17. “Monsanto not only provided the needed pipe material, the company also made available a large crew of workers to install the pipe over a 3-day period using specialized tools.”
The County of Maui is providing water to the Kalamaula area and will continue to assist DHHL until repairs to its two pumps are completed. Repairs are expected to be completed sometime in the first week of December. Impacted residents and businesses in Hoolehua and Kalamaula are asked to continue conservation efforts.