Guam – A legislative request being hand‐carried to Washington, DC, expresses the critical need for additional Federal assistance with the further development of Guam’s water and wastewater systems.
Former Senator Hope A. Cristobal has been tasked by Speaker Judith T. Won Pat and Senator Rory J. Respicio, sponsor and Natural Resources Committee Chair, to deliver Resolution No. 15‐31 (COR) to the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).
“The NACD is a great organization, it helps individual conservation districts by using the collective voice of districts across the country to lobby the Federal Government concerning conservation policies,” Senator Respicio said. “Their lobbying efforts can help secure adequate federal funding for resource conservation programs.”
Resolution 15 outlines Guam’s needs relative to the demands the buildup will have on both fresh water and wastewater systems, as well as the numerous upgrades that are needed for each system. Guam is divided into the Northern and Southern Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and if NACD is successful, our entire island will benefit.
“The Resolution points out that the buildup will bring added pressures on limited water and wastewater resources, and emphasizes the critical and constant need for ensuring sanitary and safe drinking water is available to our people,” added Vice Speaker BJ Cruz, co‐sponsor of Resolution 15. “The Department of Defense (DoD) must work with GovGuam to avoid exploitation and contamination of Guam’s northern aquifer and all other water resources, eliminate current contamination, prevent future contamination, implement conservation programs, and create sustainable solutions for
wastewater treatment and management.”
Senator Judi Guthertz, Buildup Committee Chair and also a co‐sponsor, says “Resolution 15 also points out that DoD and GovGuam must work together to ensure that a sufficient water supply is available in Guam during the construction phase of the buildup. It also calls on DoD to provide financial resources and technical support to address what will otherwise become a significant water shortage, and inadequate drinking water infrastructure for civilian population growth.”
The buildup will place enormous stress on our water and wastewater systems. We need a commitment from DoD to address construction related shortfalls in supply, and also to provide financial, engineering, and technical assistance to GWA for implementing effective water conservation programs inside and outside the military fences.
Speaker Won Pat concludes, “DoD and GovGuam will have to work cooperatively, and it all needs to be under the umbrella of an Integrated Water and Wastewater System. Clean water for everyone in Guam is a human right. It must not be infringed upon or exploited.”