Waimea Irrigation Systems Water Levels


November 4, 2013

TO:                               Customers of the Waimea Irrigation System
FROM:                        Waimea Irrigation System
SUBJECT:                  Mandatory Water Conservation

As a result of the low rainfall condition over the past several months, the Waimea Irrigation System has commenced pumping water from the Puu Pulehu Reservoir to the Puukapu 60 MG Reservoir for the past several weeks.  According to the National Weather Service’s hydrology reports, Kamuela Upper gage reported 11% of normal rainfall and Kamuela I reported a mere 5% of normal.  The Kawainui Stream gage reported only 45% of normal flow.

Effective Monday, November 4, 2013, an emergency declaration was announced by the Waimea Irrigation System and requests your cooperation in implementing a mandatory 10% reduction in irrigation water consumption until further notice.

In accordance with §4-157-4, Hawaii Administrative Rules, the Administrator and Chief Engineer may declare emergency conditions and implement conservation measures to forestall a water shortage or interruptions in water service.

The Department of Agriculture has established a “link” to this webpage so water users may track the irrigation system’s availability of irrigation water.  The link provides the daily reservoir level, provides National Weather Service information and staff’s comments on the condition of the irrigation system.

Please contact us, toll free, at 974-4000, extension 3-9473, if you have any questions.

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CURRENT WATER LEVEL as of:    7/28/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)

  • 7/27/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)
  • 7/24/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)
  • 7/23/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)
  • 7/22/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)
  • 7/21/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)
  • 7/20/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)
  • 7/17/2015:  50.0  feet (51.7)



CURRENT WATER LEVEL as of:     7/28/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)

  • 7/27/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)
  • 7/24/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)
  • 7/23/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)
  • 7/22/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)
  • 7/21/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)
  • 7/20/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)
  • 7/17/2015: 18.5  feet (106.75 MG)


(September 17, 2014)

Upper Hamakua Ditch Realignment (New Project):

Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to study the possibility of relocating a segment of the Upper Hamakua Ditch (UHD) further inland from the canyon edge to minimize catastrophic failure of the ditch during a seismic or landslide event.  The segment of ditch is located approximately 1,000 feet downstream of the Alakahi Intake and gets within 100 feet from the canyon edge.

Scope of Work:

To provide professional services to complete an Environmental Assessment (EA), conduct a geophysical investigation, obtain approval of a Conservation District Site Plan, take limited topographic survey, and develop a preliminary engineering design.

  • The contract with Brown and Caldwell is currently being processed.
  • The anticipated start date is in November 2014.
  • The anticipated completion date is November 2015.

Waimea Transfer Ditch Improvements:

  • The Contractor installed the fiberglass grating for the junction box and is finishing up removal of trees.
  • The remaining work includes grassing and clean-up of the site.
  • The anticipated project completion date is in mid-October.

Dam Safety – Puukapu Reservoir:

  • The valve in the Puukapu Reservoir that enables DOA to control flow to the distribution pipeline is frozen.  The Contractor is scheduled to conduct an exploratory dive on September 22 to assess how to cap the outlet pipe to stop the flow of water.  After it is determined how to stop the water, the Contractor will need to order necessary materials before proceeding with the second dive.  The dive is anticipated to take one full day to complete the assessment.
  • The date of the second dive is dependent on the availability of material.  This dive will be done to install a mechanism to prevent the flow of water through the reservoir outlet pipe. Once the flow of water is stopped, the Contractor will immediately install the by-pass connection and conduct the final dive to restore water flow from the reservoir to the distribution pipeline.  The length of this shutdown will be determined at a later date.
  • After the “bypass” connection is installed, the Contractor will begin work on the temporary basin and installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and a float activated device to automatically turn the Puu Pulehu pump on and off as water in the temporary basin fluctuates throughout the day.
  • Notice to Proceed (NTP) for the rest of the improvements will not be issued by DOA until the Puu Pulehu Reservoir is completely filled and the Puukapu Reservoir is at or near capacity.
  • The Puukapu Reservoir work is anticipated to be completed 6 to 8 months after the Notice to Proceed date is issued to the Contractor.  Four to six weeks is being set aside to install and monitor the performance of the temporary water storage tank/ bypass lines.
  • Refilling of the Puukapu Reservoir will be allowed after DLNR is satisfied with the improvements made.
  • During the review process for the Puukapu Reservoir Dam Alteration Permit, DLNR required additional improvements to address seismic analysis concerns.  DOA may be required to install a buttress along the base of the reservoir or some other measure to further stabilize the embankment.  DOA’s consultant began their field work and should complete the design by April 2015.

Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant Improvements:

  • DOA finalized negotiations with the Contractor and the contract is currently being processed.
  • The project will include the replacement of a vacuum cooling unit, cooling coil units and insulated sliding doors; replacement and relocation of a condensing unit; relocation of compressor, compressor control panel, and air dryer; re-location of the existing vacuum cooler electrical controls; installation of new piping; and replacement of the AC flooring with new concrete flooring.
  • Construction is anticipated to take 4 months to complete from the written notice to proceed date.

Proposed Conservation Plan:

Although the reservoirs are at or near capacity and the Puukapu Deepwell Pump is operational, DOA is proposing to continue enforcement of the mandatory 10 percent conservation until the Puukapu Reservoir safety improvement project is complete.  DOA proposes to meet with the Waimea farmers to discuss possible modifications to the conservation measures after the temporary Puukapu water storage basin is installed and its performance analyzed.