Water Budget for the Island of Kauai, Hawaii

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4128




A geographic information system model was created to calculate a monthly water budget for the island of Kauai. Ground-water recharge is the residual component of a monthly water budget calculated using long-term average rainfall, streamflow, and pan-evaporation data, applied irrigation-water estimates, and soil characteristics. The water-budget components are defined seasonally, through the use of the monthly water budget, and spatially by aquifer-system areas, through the use of the geographic information system model. The mean annual islandwide water-budget totals are 2,720 Mgal/d for rainfall plus irrigation; 1,157 Mgal/d for direct runoff; 911 Mgal/d for actual evapotranspiration; and 652 Mgal/d for ground-water recharge. Direct runoff is 43 percent, actual evapotranspiration is 33 percent, and ground-water recharge is 24 percent of rainfall plus irrigation. Ground-water recharge in the natural land-use areas is spatially distributed in a pattern similar to the rainfall distribution. Distinct seasonal variations in the water-budget components are apparent from the monthly water-budget calculations. Rainfall and ground-water recharge peak during the wet winter months with highs in January of 3,698 Mgal/d (million gallons per day) and 981 Mgal/d, respectively; a slight peak in July and August relative to June and September is caused by increased orographic rainfall. Recharge is lowest in June (454 Mgal/d) and November (461 Mgal/d).

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Water Budget for the Island of Kauai, Hawaii
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
Pacific Islands Water Science Center
iv, 25 p.