Remedying Hawaii’s Housing Shortage

Nov 3, 2019 | General Information

No one should be surprised that Paradise has a housing shortage, especially on Oahu which has about 40% of future housing needs. According to recent projections, Hawaii will need an additional 65,000 housing units statewide by 2025. Building this number of new homes and apartments in the next 5 years sounds like a reasonable goal. The problem, however, is that it will require large wastewater projects. As one of our recent articles explains, Hawaii has a sewer capacity problem. Unfortunately installation of new sewer capacity takes a long time.

Another problem on Oahu, and especially in and near Honolulu, is water. Although Oahu’s million residents have plenty of water, in the future keeping a growing population of residents in Honolulu supplied with sufficient water will be challenging. Oahu pumps 24 aquifers for its water supply. These aquifers have pumping limits to ensure that everyone is supplied with sufficient water. Keeping everyone on Oahu supplied with water requires two thousand miles of pipeline distributing water! New development will require more water pipeline construction. Location of these pipelines becomes of critical importance. Building pipelines and treatment plants close to existing infrastructure can reduce cost and speed up construction. New water and sewage construction also will require more electricity. Obviously planners and public utility managers in Hawaii have their work cut out for them.