The Navy and the Guam Waterworks Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signaling enhanced partnerships to share critical infrastructure and property data intended to improve the island’s water and wastewater systems’ capability, redundancy, and resiliency.
“This is a tremendous demonstration of the Navy’s continued commitment to our One Guam pillar,” said Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Daniel Turner. “The MOU provides a framework by which we will establish common objectives, guidelines, and milestones as we work towards improving the island’s water and wastewater systems for all of those who call Guam home.”
The One Guam pillar, established in 2011 by the then Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work, as a result of the Marine Corps realignment to Guam, focusses on seeking solutions to upgrading the island’s infrastructure to include water and wastewater to meet the growing demands of the community.
The data sharing MOU establishes objectives and guidelines. It provides details that will help define intended uses of the data, and will help inform decisions between the Navy and GWA specifically relating to the sharing of infrastructure data including real property, remote sensing, GIS infrastructure data, and hydraulic modeling.
“The Guam Waterworks Authority has been making significant improvements to our water and wastewater infrastructure, and is ready to continue that trend with this MOU as an enhancement to our planning and operational efforts,” said GWA General Manager Miguel Bordallo. “Building on this MOU, our One Guam team will be better able to plan for and achieve our shared objectives and serve the growing needs of our community.”
For many years, NAVFAC Marianas and GWA have been collaborating on solutions to improve water and wastewater infrastructure on the island. The MOU is another step in that direction of exploring and expanding for interoperability and eventual integration of military and civilian water systems on Guam.
“The Navy’s goal through the MOU is to support continued collaboration with our GWA partners as we work towards full integration of our island-wide water and wastewater systems,” said Turner. “Since the establishment of the One Guam pillar, this has been a deliberate and collaborative process with our utility partners, and I am extremely impressed by the hard work and dedication of the team of professionals who worked tirelessly on the mechanics of this MOU.”
In March 2016, the Navy and GWA signed a separate initial and overarching MOU to “Explore Mutually Beneficial Opportunities” which defined the relationship between the parties and developed the One Guam vision. That MOU provided the guidelines by which the current MOU is based.
NAVFAC Marianas One Guam Water Coordinator and Program Manager Maria Lewis is the Navy’s team lead representative who contributed to the dialogue and the details in the MOU.
“Discussions on this MOU began months ago, and despite the global pandemic and current COVID-19 response and recovery, we are so pleased that both Navy and GWA teams were able to hold steadfast to our commitments of collaborating on this agreement,” said Lewis. “Our shared vision is to see a truly integrated, reliable, and redundant water and wastewater system for the island.”