September 2002 - Know Your Candidates Home   Newsletters

September 2002

October-November 2002

President's Message (Pearl Johnson)
City of Aloha Discarded a New Draft of the PUCDP (Charles Carole)
Attention All Leaguers
Hawaii Clean Elections (Grace Furukawa)
Environment Committee
Report from the National Convention (Malia Schwartz)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (Grace Furukawa)
Friday the 27th Meeting
Welcome New Members

Environment Committee

The Joint Honolulu-State Environment Committee welcomed Chester Lao, Senior Geologist with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, at its August 14th meeting. Mr. Lao briefed committee members on the status of water on Oahu. Some things we learned-we have lots of water (after all, we live on an island in the middle of a very large ocean). But we are pushing the limits of cheap, easily available water. It is not just a perception; there really is less water available than when sugar was king. That is because the water application methods used then were so inefficient that at least half of the water applied to the crop perked right back down into the aquifer. Add to that the urbanization and consequent decrease in recharge area over the aquifer, i.e., Mililani, as well as a long period of relatively low rainfall and there is definitely less water in reserve. Meanwhile, we use (and waste) a lot of water each day.

There is only one large relatively untapped water resource on Oahu, the Waialua aquifer. The Board of Water Supply is committed to proceeding with desalination to ensure the continued availability of water to its customers. While it may not be needed immediately, they want to be comfortable with the process before there is a need so they are not commencing a new operation in a crisis situation. One option under consideration is using OTEC technology, which generates electricity along with desalination. Another option is using conventional technology such as reverse osmosis. Using either method, Mr. Lao asked us to consider a very appealing idea. That is the possibility of pumping water to reservoirs on the upslopes during the night, when demand for both water and electricity is low, and then using the water flow out in the daytime to generate electricity to sell back to HECO. Talk about recycling!

Another interesting little factoid: In Hawaii, 100 inches of rain per year is the amount needed for vegetation to thrive without irrigation. Generally speaking, you can see that line when you look up at mountains because that is where kukui trees grow.

Finally, a field trip into the Waihee Tunnel on the windward side could be arranged for as many League members as will fit into a BWS van, say 6-8. Let Jackie Parnell know if you are interested.

September 2002 - Know Your Candidates Home   Newsletters October-November 2002