Maui Drought
Bad . . . And Getting Worse

The Maui drought is now summer long and bad ... and it's getting worse.

The County Dept. of Water Supply has announced new water restrictions in Hana and Kula.

The island's ranchers report serious shortages of grass for cattle feed.

Maui's sugar plantations have been forced to cut way back on field irrigation.

The Dept. of Water Supply is providing domestic water in the Hana area only during certain hours: 6-8 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and 5-8 p.m.

An announcement from the department said residents should store water for use during other periods of the day during the Maui drought. No lawn watering or irrigation is permitted at any time.

"This drastic action is necessary," the announcement said, "because the supply in your area (Hana) is very critical. In times like this, the supply is inadequate and the water may not be of good quality.

"We recommend certain precautions be taken, such as turning off your electric or gas heater when your tank appears empty, and boiling water for drinking." Carl Kaiama, director of the Dept. of Water Supply, said water is currently being trucked from Hana to the Hamoa area, several miles south of Hana. The town of Hana itself, is receiving water from Hana Ranch wells instead of the usual mountain stream sources.

In the Kula area, during the Maui drought, irrigation is permitted only one day per week from the Kula pipeline. Last week, a restriction of two days of irrigation per week had been in effect. Among those affected by the restrictin are truck farmers and fruit and flower growers.

Kaiama said despite warnings since late July of water shortages, consumers in the Kula area have continued to use normal amounts of water.

"Things are getting more critical every day. It may require us to take more drastic measures to curtail usage to consumers."

Carl Bredhoff, manager of the Kaupo Ranch in extreme East Maui, said the supply of grass for the ranch's 3,500 cattle is getting very short. He said they want to wean calves from their mothers, but has no place to put them where they can find sufficient feed.

"We're keeking our fingers crossed for rain."

Richard Baldwin of the Haleakala Ranch, which runs 7,000 head of cattle, said grass is sufficient in the high mountain country but water is in short supply.

Emergency feeding will be necessary if the drought continues. However, he pointed out it is difficult to buy feed because of the current shipping strike.

At the Ulupalakua Ranch, about 40 cows have died due to the Maui drought, according to manager James Armitage. He said the cows were already old and in poor condition.

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Maui Lahaina Sun

Buck Quayle at The Lahaina Sun

Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970

Buck Quayle

Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background

Buck Quayle, 2011


Haleakala Park On Maui

Another Day At The Office Haleakala National Park

Tiki at Maui School


Whale watching

Whale tail

My Other Office-On The Beach At Lahaina
Maui Girl On Bike