Water in Maui pond turns bright magenta, here's why

Visitors are asked to keep a safe distance from the water.

The Waikapu Stream, responsible for transporting water from the West Maui Mountains to Kealia Pond, intersects the area facing extreme drought. Reduced freshwater inflow into the pond has intensified salt concentration, creating a hospitable environment for the brightly-coloured halobacteria.

The salinity at the Keālia Pond outlet is sitting at levels exceeding 70 parts per thousand, which is twice that of seawater, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services says in a statement.

The severity of drought on Maui, classified as extreme on the US Drought Monitor's scale, has affected around 90% of Maui County, creating a dire situation that was worsened by a wildfire in August.

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Scientists are closely examining the impacts of the climate crisis on Hawaii, anticipating exacerbated drought conditions with global temperature increases.

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Visitors to the pond are asked to maintain a safe distance from the water, refrain from entering it, avoid consuming fish from the water, and ensure that pets do not drink the water.