Hawai’i’s largest water education festival, ‘Make a Splash’ restarts on Kaua`i


LIHUE - The Make a Splash with Project WET (Water Education Today) Festival; Hawai’i’s largest water education festival, was held yesterday at the Vidinha Soccer field in Līhu'e, after a 2-year postponement due to the pandemic. The festival is coordinated by the Department of Water (DOW) and involved over 175 volunteers to host more than 750 fifth grade students this year.

“We are excited to restart our annual Make a Splash festival and I want to thank all of our staff, local partners and neighbor island water agencies for joining us in this effort,” said Joe Tait, DOW’s Manager and Chief Engineer. “Together, we can lead the way towards improving our water future through the education of our students.”

This year’s neighbor island participation was the most that the event has received in 17 years. Volunteers representing five water agencies flew in from Oahu, Molokai, and the Big Island to join DOW and a team of water-related community partners on Kaua`i.

The water festival features activity stations that includes a lecture and interactive component. This year’s water topics included groundwater, drinking water services, environmental and source water protection, watershed management, the water cycle, water properties, natural ecosystems, native species protection, marine animal rescue, understanding water droplets and new this year is an activity on reclaim water.

“Water education continues to be a high priority for our outreach programs and the festival serves as the perfect opportunity to engage in discussions and offer direct lessons that teach students about a wide range of water topics that we encounter every day,” said Jonell Kaohelauli’i, DOW’s Information and Education Specialist and coordinator of the festival. “This is the first year the festival is featuring an activity about wastewater, proving that we have not yet reached the boundaries of this event.”

DOW would like to thank the following partners and activity sponsors of the 2022 Make a Splash with Project WET Festival for helping to make the restart event a huge success: Aqua Engineers, Inc., American Water Works Association – Hawaii Section, Carollo Engineers, Inc., City & County of Honolulu – Storm Water Branch, Department of Land and Natural Resources– Aquatic Resources Kauai Branch, East & West Kaua`i Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Grove Farm Land Corporation, Hawaii Rural Water Association, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Marine Animal Rescue Program, Kapa’a High School JROTC cadet program, Kaua`i Board of Water Supply, Kaua`i Bus, Kaua`i Farm Bureau, Kauai Invasive Species Committee, Kodani and Associates Engineers, LLC., The Nature Conservancy, Uncle Tilo’s Clean Water, LLC., UH College of Water has no substitute…Conserve it. Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) Kauai Agricultural Research Center, DOW employees, family members and retirees.

Make a Splash is a part of DOW’s community outreach and education program and is held in conjunction with Project WET Hawaii’s participation of the national water festivals hosted by Project WET USA. For more information about the Make a Splash with Project WET Festival or Project WET Hawaii, please contact the Department of Water at 245-5461.

blessing ceremony
(left to right): Kahu Jade Waialeale-Battad and DOW Manager and Chief Engineer, Joe Tait untie the kukui nut leis during a blessing ceremony, signaling the reopening of the Department of Water’s Make a Splash Festival.
Students from Wilcox Elementary School practice pumping groundwater from their table top aquifers during the “Just Understanding Groundwater” activity.
Aqua Engineer Inc.’s, Kimo Ortiz conducts a wastewater presentation showing students the inside of a sewer line clogged with items that should not be flushed down the toilet such as cotton balls, napkins or flushable wipes. The reclaim activity is a new addition to the festival.
water education
A Kalaheo Elementary School student is careful not to spill water as she pours it into a bin in a relay race activity demonstrating the transportation of water from the water source to the home.


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