12/15/2014: Bill 85 (2014) is considered for second and final reading. To testify, view the agenda here: http://mauicounty.us/meeting/141219council/
12/5/14: Passed on first reading: Bill 85 (2014), relating to declaration of water shortages in
11/14/14 update: The WR Committee will continue discussion on WR-18 on Nov. 19. View the posted agenda: http://mauicounty.us/meeting/141119wr/
Oct. 28, 2014
WAILUKU, Hawaii – Councilmember Michael P. Victorino’s bill to implement a water conservation and water shortage program will be considered tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the Council Chamber.
The council’s Water Resources Committee, which is chaired by Victorino, will consider a 90-day exemption for agricultural water consumers in the event of a water shortage declaration.
The time period was based on public testimony received in committee noting that during times of drought or other water shortage, crops and livestock are especially in need of county water, Victorino said.
During a water shortage, Victorino proposes a three-stage declaration: a water shortage advisory where the county’s water system will be voluntarily restricted by five percent, a water shortage warning where the five percent restriction is mandated and the voluntary restriction is increased to ten percent, and finally a water shortage emergency, where the ten percent restriction is mandated and the director of the Dept. of Water Supply may apply further restrictions and measures, including penalties.
“The county is susceptible to drought conditions and we need guidelines to prepare us for the worst,” Victorino said. “The county must take the lead in water conservation practices.”
The committee will also consider measures and practices promoting water conservation such as retrofitting county facilities with water-efficient toilets, plumbing fixtures and irrigation equipment.
The bill would require the county’s DWS to monitor water consumption and issue high-consumption notices to consumers when warranted. Education and incentive programs will also be considered to promote water conservation.
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