Thursday, April 21, 2011

Where Hawaii's Water Comes From

Aloha !

Listen to today's song as you read-

Feel Free to Click on the pictures to enlarge them
We are 2,500 miles from the nearest continent. 
While the continental US
gets 80% of their drinking water
from rivers and lakes.
  There are few of either here
on these islands.

When I lived in Kona,
we collected rain on our tin roof,
channeling it into a big tank:
'catchment water.'

Fortunately, fresh water is abundant here.
The Hawaiian word for fresh water
is Wai. 
 A rich man is one who has lots of water:
Kanaka Wai Wai 
(the name of the song you are listening to :-) 
But where does it come from?

The answer is wind & sea.
Warm oceanic air blows onto our islands, and
is forced upward by our forested mountains
where it contracts, cools,
and squeezes out it's moisture. 

  Our trees collect the virgin mist.
  Newly formed clouds
drop their fresh-made rain,
birthing pristine mountain streams.

The rain  from mountain streams collects in aquifers,
deep in our porous volcanic islands.
This has been going on
for millions of years.

"The islands are progressively younger in geologic age
toward the southeast; Kauai and Ni'ihau are about 5 million years in age,
and the big island of Hawaii is less than 0.5 million years old.. . 
The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed summits of the southernmost seafloor mountains, or seamounts, in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain."

We pump it up,
and harvest the life giving water.

Maui's Mount Haleakala alone
provides the Valley Isle with 60 billion gallons
of surface water per year.

Here on Oahu, the Ko`olau Mountains gift us
with 160 billion gallons. 

Without that water, 
no Hawaii as we know it
for you and for me!

The motto:
E Mālama i ka Wai 
"Take Care of the Water."

A big Mahalo to Suzanne Case, 
executive director of
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii,
for her illuminating guest column
in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

         And a bigger thanks to YOU for visiting today! cloudia