HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Board of Water Supply asked Oahu residents to reduce their water consumption by 10% due to the Red Hill water contamination crisis and a dry season ahead.

KHON2 wanted to find out what that looks like for customers.

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Dishes get washed every day, but how can water be saved while doing so? The request for a 10% reduction is voluntary and officials said they do not want that to change.

“It’s really going to depend on how people do,” said Ernest Lau, BWS chief engineer. “So, it’s really performance-based, going back to our customers and communities on how much they reduce their water usage.”

Officials said the request to conserve comes partly from Oahu’s stressed water supply due to the Red Hill situation, paired with an unusually dry winter and drier months expected ahead.

“When demand — which is very connected to weather where we enter to hot, dry periods — that’s why we see the demand for our water from our customers starts to increase.”

Ernest Lau, BWS chief engineer

According to the BWS, average Oahu households use 6,000 gallons of water each month. They would need to cut back by 600 gallons to meet the 10% reduction — and the little things add up.

Cutting back on water can even help with your electricity bill.

“If you can reduce the length of your shower, say two minutes per shower, that’s going to save roughly about $10 a person in your household over the course of a month or two,” said Jim Kelly, vice president of Hawaiian Electric community relations.

In the kitchen, fill a cup and scrub all the dirty dishes first and then use the cup to rinse them off. If the family car needs a wash, use a nozzle with a stop function so the water does not run the entire time.

According to the National Weather Service as of Thursday, March 10, Hawaii remained generally dry throughout February and relief is not expected anytime soon as summer nears.

Now is the time to repair those leaky fixtures, BWS officials said.

“My water bill actually dropped a couple of dollars and it may be, ‘Well, what’s a couple of dollars?’ Well, over the course of a year, you’re talking about $20, $48. That’s a lot. Well, that’s for me a lot of money,” BWS information officer Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui said after she fixed a leak.

The BWS has several programs, rebates and informational fliers on reducing water consumption.

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Click the links above to visit the BWS website for more information.