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Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Honolulu Parks Promise to Stop Wasting Water
By News Release @ 2:25 AM :: 1211 Views :: Honolulu County

Honolulu Parks & Rec partnering with Board of Water of Supply to exceed call for 10% water reduction

News Release from Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation May 17, 2022

O‘AHU – Following the Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s (BWS) call for O‘ahu residents to reduce water consumption by 10%, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is partnering with BWS on specific measures to exceed this goal at your City parks, while asking for your help in this kākou conservation effort.

Specific measures being taken by DPR to conserve water include both long-term and immediate actions to reduce overall water consumption and the strain on our precious water aquifers presented by the Red Hill fuel contamination crisis. These measures include:

Significantly reducing field irrigation & supplemental watering.

Scheduling watering during twilight hours where possible (some parks utilize manual irrigation)

Identifying our “thirstiest” parks and monitoring their water consumption to detect subterranean leaks.

Installing low-flow plumbing fixtures during Kākou for Parks comfort station renovations.

Planting less “thirsty” plants while focusing on xeriscaping and efficient planting cycles.

Utilizing drip irrigation, which reduces water overspray and focuses moisture distribution.

Increasing inspections, maintenance, and upgrades of irrigation systems, such as the recent improvements to Koko Crater and Foster botanical gardens.

Limiting hours of operation for decorative park fountains at Kapi‘olani Park (Dillingham Fountain) and Thomas Square to the minimal, twilight hours (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) needed to keep the fountains in working, mechanical order. This represents a 75% reduction in their respective runtimes. 

Working with the Honolulu Fire Department to reduce water usage during certain HFD training at City parks. This includes directing water onto landscaped areas instead of hard surfaces to ensure the water is re-used to benefit the parks.

Pursuing the installation of long-term water conservation measures at 29 park locations across O‘ahu as part of our Energy Saving Contract (ESCO) with NORESCO. Those three particular measures include: plumbing improvements (modernizing equipment to reduce water usage by nearly 70% at 23 sites), efficient irrigation controls (adjusts watering times based on weather at 15 sites), and major piping repairs at two parks. See the table below for site-specific information.

LINK: Table

“When we began looking at ways to assist in this island-wide, kākou effort to conserve our precious water supply, we wanted to focus on broad and impactful measures for all of our parks to maximize our efforts in an equitable manner,” said DPR Director Laura H. Thielen. “It is truly amazing how our islands are naturally designed to store fresh water, and it is everyone’s kuleana to safeguard that environmental resource. We appreciate the understanding and kokua of park users as these measures will likely result in noticeable changes to their parks, such as drier fields or less green grass. Mahalo also to our BWS counterparts for their continued efforts to protect our aquifers.”

In addition to modifying water consumption to better conserve this precious resource, DPR and BWS are asking regular park users to take simple measures to help reduce water consumption. This includes turning off beach showers and sinks when not in use. 

The BWS is finalizing a campaign that will also target the visitors who use City park facilities with conservation messaging. This campaign, in conjunction with other industry groups, is expected to launch in July 2022. The DPR will be a key participant in helping get the message out at our parks. More details will be available shortly.

In March 2022, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply requested a voluntary 10% water-use reduction for all O‘ahu residents, visitors, businesses, and government agencies following the closure of significant ‘Aiea and Hālawa wells due to the Red Hill fuel contamination crisis. This voluntary, kākou effort will help to avoid mandatory water conservation efforts, with low winter rainfall and current drought conditions additionally impacting water supply during the hot summer months. Leading by example, the City answered BWS’s call by quickly implementing water conservation practices, communicating these initial steps through messaging on World Water Day. These include: similar water efficiency and conservation measures through a City-wide Energy Saving Contract, irrigation modifications at municipal golf courses, increasing the availability of recycled water, continuing to install green storm water infrastructure (i.e. permeable pavement), and collaborating with private entities who consume large amounts of water on efficiency and conservations measures.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email



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