June 13, 2007
The Maui Department of Water Supply has declared a drought in Upcountry Maui, imposing mandatory water restrictions, while dry conditions are getting worse on the Big Island. Maui officials Tuesday imposed 10 percent water restrictions on nonagricultural users in many areas, but gave farmers 30 days grace. "Low inflows to the surface water treatment facilities are earlier than normal and could signal a long, dry summer." On the Big Island, where similar conditions have gone on for a lot longer, farmers aren't so lucky. "Nonirrigated crops, those dependent on natural rainfall, were in fair to poor condition. And livestock operations were being stressed by the low moisture levels." The Hawaii County Mayor declared a state of emergency a week ago due to the continuing dry weather.