Saturday, February 13, 2010
Even though I’ve blogged about the drought happening here in Hawaii, the rains have been bleak. Normal rain patterns throughout the islands are between 10 to 20 percent of normal for the year which is a bad sign for our islands.
Jess at Children of the Corm did a fantastic and comprehensive post on the effects of El Nino and the areas that have dramatically been impacted (great job Jess ). Looking at the graphs displayed, the El Nino trends show the rainfall for Hawaii is predicted to be 40 percent below normal, not as severe as the actual 10-20 percent of normal that is actually happening. I never really thought too much about this until I realized in our local news channels that more coverage have been occurring about drought situations on our islands.
Things are even more complicated here on the east side of the island due to the fact since over 40 percent of households are not serviced by county water, we rely on primarily catchment systems for our water needs. Lack of rain can make up some dire outcomes in a relatively short timeframe for larger households.
Since there are alot of people that do not understand how catchment systems work, I have them photographed below.
Water is primarily collected on rainy days through one’s own roof collecting from the gutters into a large catchment tank, the average size is about 10 thousand gallons to cover a regular household. (these tanks are about 6 feet tall and around 12 feet in diameter, I know really ugly)
From the catchment tank, water is then pumped into the house and through four whole house filters (below in blue) and then through a UV system to the right that takes out most of the impurities, it is then stored in the water heater for any heating.
This is total overkill, but I also have a reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink for drinking purposes, it kills 99.9 % of all bacteria and impurities. There are alot of households that don’t even have filtration systems outside of just one whole house filter, I wouldn’t even consider drinking that tap water.
Since I’ve been using my water sparingly my tank is still at 30 percent of capacity, larger households that quickly run out have to order water through several water companies which are working non-stop to due to the crisis situation. A truck filled with four thousand gallons will cost you around $150 per truck load and that will fill up less than half of a catchment tank. If your lucky to have ordered your water at least two weeks in advanced, then you will get your water…if not then you might have to jump into the ocean to take a bath until your turn comes up.
On another post, I’ll show you what I have to do to my poor trees and plants that I’ve started growing on a raw parcel of land that will be eventually where I will retire, since there is no water available there, the manual process of getting the plants watered is intensive and not a fun experience.