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Big Island Delegation Helps Secure $8.75M For South Kohala Water System

March 12, 2022, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated March 11, 7:47 PM
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Rep. David Tarnas

Gov. David Ige released $8.75 million in capital improvement project funds this week to finance the construction of a $10 million gallon water reservoir for the Lālāmilo water system.

South Kohala currently receives roughly 5.5 million gallons of water per day from the Lālāmilo system. With a larger water reservoir, the Department of Water Supply will be able to utilize more of the renewable electricity generated by the onsite wind turbines to pump and store potable water.

The funds were appropriated by the Legislature during the 2019 Legislative session which budgeted $8.75 million in state bonds and requested the County of Hawai‘i match these funds to cover a portion of the cost, $1.75 million.

“With this significant investment of public funds, this project will help the Department of Water Supply, the County of Hawai‘i, and the State of Hawai‘i achieve their mutual goal of a more sustainable and resilient future,” said Rep. David Tarnas (House District 7 – North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala), in a news release announcing the Thursday,  March 10 allocation. “I am grateful to be at the legislature to work with Sen. Lorraine Inouye to secure these funds.”

Hawai‘i County Department of Water Supply Manager and Chief Engineer Keith Okamoto thanked the Big Island delegation that helped secure the funds.

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“The Department of Water Supply wishes to express its appreciation for Sen. Lorraine Inouye for her role in obtaining these funds as well as the support of Rep. David Tarnas, Gov. David Ige, Mayor Mitch Roth and councilmember Tim Richards for this important project,” Okamoto said. “This project will assist the Department, the County of Hawai‘i and the State of Hawai‘i on our shared vision for a more sustainable future by utilizing more wind generated energy.”

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