Our Islands, Our Future

Continuing our series on newly appointed County Department Directors, reflecting the role of government in responding to community values and needs.

Department of Water Supply Director Dave Taylor approaches his job by taking cues from the community he serves. “The biggest thing I’d like people to see is that I work for them. It’s their water system, not mine,” Taylor said. “I honestly see myself as the water maintenance guy for the people.” As water director, Taylor oversees 200 employees and a system that features 750 miles of pipeline, 125 water tanks and six treatment plants. “That’s a lot to take care of. It’s always difficult and it’s certainly a challenge,” he said. What brings the most enjoyment is working his staff. “We have a fantastic group of incredibly talented people in many different professions. The public would be pleasantly surprised if they knew how deeply our staff members care about what they do. I am proud that they act as if they are working for their own family and their own home.”

Taylor recently outlined several options to the Maui County Council on how the water system could be improved over the next decade. It would take an investment of some $30 million, he said. For now, Taylor focuses his energy on establishing a clear vision for his agency, setting goals that include providing clear and safe water efficiently. He said he drinks water from the tap all the time and considers county water rates to be a bargain, in part because it costs less than $2 per thousand gallons for water to be delivered to each home on Maui. “You can’t beat the value of county water.”

Taylor grew up in Southern California, earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical and environmental engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He obtained his master’s degree in structural engineering from UC Berkeley. In his spare time, Taylor enjoys windsurfing, a sport he picked up from the age of 16, and keeping fit with regular gym work outs.