‘Billions of dollars needed to fix GWA’

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CCU Chairman Joey Duenas said that in the next 5 years, they are going to put in a billion dollars into the infrastructure of GWA. (PNC photo)

Billions of dollars will be needed to fix Guam Waterworks Authority’s deteriorating infrastructure, the chairman of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities said.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on News Talk K57, CCU Chairman Joey Duenas said that in the next 5 years, they are going to put in a billion dollars into the infrastructure of GWA.

“And guess what? We’ll start working on the next billion … GWA is billions. GPA is millions, hundreds of millions. But GWA is billions,” Duenas stressed.

The CCU chairman was reacting to the complaints of frequent water outages in many areas of the island.

“The GWA system was not well-designed when it was put in place. It wasn’t well-constructed and it hasn’t been maintained. And now we’re doing all of that,” Duenas said.

He added that in GWA’s 20-year master plan, they will be replacing all these aged water lines “that should have been replaced years ago but weren’t.”

So far, GWA has already put in $80 million into the ground. The biggest project was the Santa Rita project which was around $70 million, the Baza Gardens project was $20 million to $30 million, and, in addition to that, Duenas said in the next five years, they are going to put another $525 million in the ground “if we get to borrow everything we want to borrow. and some of that money is coming from the military buildup.”

However, Duenas said water lines breaking are unavoidable and inevitable.

“These lines will start breaking. For the next 20 years, we will be replacing water lines, sometimes these lines are going to break ahead of the schedule that we put ourselves on because we have to acquire the money, we have to borrow the money,” Duenas said.

“And we’re not talking about a small number. I just want to make sure that the public understands this,” he added.

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