By Leah Eclavea, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs
TAMUNING, Guam (NNS) -- The Navy leased the Tumon Maui Water Well to Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) during a One-Guam Water Integration Ribbon Cutting Ceremony July 28.
The signing of a one-year licensing agreement with four annual extension periods with GWA is part of a pilot project. In addition, it is part of the Navy's "One Guam" commitment which promises continual partnership between the government of Guam and Department of Defense to promote the sharing of resources which contribute to island sustainability.
"There is no better symbol of our One Guam philosophy than this," said Joint Region Marianas Commander Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar. "Though some of us live on base and some of us may live off base, we all draw water from the same water source. So through our water integration strategy, not only is it a good idea to plan how to manage these resources. but also our precious water reserves. It's a necessity."
The well was constructed in 1947 and it accounted for a large portion of the water supply until its initial closure in 1995. It was then placed back into service for a short time, then closed again in 1999.
From 2011 to 2013 the Navy repaired the well in order for it to be compliant with water quality standards. The revitalization included repairs to the pump equipment, replacement of a generator and the disinfection and treatment system, and a connection to the GWA water system.
"This will enable GWA to operate the utility assets to produce potable water and deliver it through a GWA transmission system to support consumers in the northern and central parts of the island," said Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Stephanie Jones.
The well is the largest capacity well and can produce up to 1.5 million gallons of water per day, said Jones. That equates to providing water to about 2,400 homes or 10,000 people. The re-commissioning and leasing of the well to GWA allows the agency to turn off four of its smaller wells.
"The wells that we can retire, that's what protecting the aquifer is all about -- finding out what we need to retire, finding out what we can invest for future development and doing it together; One-Guam, one water system," said Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU) Board Member Simon Sanchez II.
Jones said the event was only possible through a large investment of time, teamwork and persistence by Navy personnel, GWA, and CCU members who make up the One Guam Water Working Group. The mission of the group is to improve Guam's water system and work towards integration of water systems.
"We are working towards reliable, sustainable, compliant and secure water delivery," Jones said. "We vow that we'll continue with this partnership."