UOG expert weighs in on military water well construction plan

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Dr. John Jenson, an environmental geology professor at the University of Guam, has done research that encompasses groundwater hydrology and studies of the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer.

In order to accommodate the influx of several thousand U.S. Marine Corps personnel to the island, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command has slated the construction of water well facilities at the Andersen Air Force Base.

According to a programmatic agreement memo from NAVFAC, the wells would provide approximately 1.2 million gallons of water per day. Construction of the water well system would consist of raw water transmission lines, water treatment, storage, and a transfer pump facility.

Regarding concerns raised by the public about the effects of the facility’s operations on the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer and its ability to replenish itself with fresh water, PNC reached out to Dr. John Jenson, an environmental geology professor at the University of Guam.

“That area is being developed for the first time. It’s got ample freshwater resources and the wells are being properly sited and designed. As long as they follow the procedures they’ve set for themselves, it will be successful,” Jenson said.

Jenson’s research encompasses groundwater hydrology and studies of the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer. He adds that even with the additional estimated million gallons of water being pumped, there is no risk of the aquifer experiencing saltwater intrusion, which entails the contamination of the resource with saline water.

“As long as you don’t set your wells too deep pump up too hard, saltwater intrusion is not a risk. They have to follow GEPA and federal regulations. As long as they’re following the regulations, they’re not putting the water resources at risk,” Jenson said.

In addition, Jenson says that the groundwater development on the island is closely monitored by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, NAVFAC, and the Guam Waterworks Authority and that they are all aware of the design parameters and regulations associated with the development of the project.

Tomorrow as we check in with a subject matter expert about the effects of the operation activities of the Andersen South Urban Combat Training Complex on historic resources.

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Amanda Dedicatoria
Amanda is a reporter at the Pacific News Center and writes about issues concerning the military, environment, and education. She has a background in journalism that spans from her time as a VIBE intern for the Pacific Daily News and the editor-in-chief of Triton’s Call. As a college student, she studied journalism and graduated with honors from the University of Guam. She also has experience in photography as well as documentary work and strives to make sure that her stories are fair and engaging. When she isn’t on the job, she’s usually at the gym, playing video games, or baking a batch of cookies.