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Guam’s water shortage prompts state of emergency declaration

Updated: Jun 6, 2023



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


Guam is experiencing a shortage of water supply as a result of typhoon Mawar, prompting Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero to declare a state of emergency.


As of this weekend, the Guam Waterworks Authority is operating only 70 percent of its wells, leaving a third of the population still without water.


“The loss of consistent access to island power has unfortunately slowed recovery of our water and wastewater systems, causing water pumping stations to shut down, and the island-wide water distribution system to fail,” the governor stated in her executive order. “This resulted in an island-wide loss of water service, which, as of the time of this writing, is in the process of being restored.”


As GWA has set a goal to get 90 percent of its wells back online, officials advised residents to conserve water and limit the use of their supply to cleaning, bathing and cooking in order to allow replenishment and stabilization of the island’s reservoirs.


GWA said inconsistent water levels in its reservoirs pose a significant impediment to broadening the water supply available to the community.


“ While there is water service in every village, it will be necessary to increase and stabilize reservoir levels in order to restore water to higher lying areas of the island,” the governor said.


Until water levels are stabilized, areas with water service will continue to experience intermittent disruptions because reservoir levels will periodically drop due to high demand, the governor said.


GWA has deployed potable water tanks containing tens of thousands of gallons of water to designated sites in northern, central and southern villages.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also supplemented island power with generators to help operate more GWA pumps.


“With water pumps initialized, GWA has been working around the clock to restore water to our community,” the governor said.


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GWA update:


Northern:

· GWA northern water system is operating normally.

· 55% of operable wells are online.

· There are currently 23 wells on island power and 43 operating on gensets

· GWA continues to operate all available wells to increase reservoir levels throughout the northern system and send more water to the Central System


Central:

· GWA resources and Navy-supplied sources continue to supply Santa Rita and Agat, except in the higher elevation areas of Santa Ana.

· Service on Cross Island road area restored up to Our Lady of Peace.

· The Sinafa area and higher elevations of Santa Rita on Cross-Island Road remain without water.

· Talo’fo’fo main village has been restored but remains susceptible to outages as reservoir levels drop during high demand. Crews continue to monitor the system.

· Tumon, Tamuning, Chalan Pago, and Sinajana will continue to experience intermittent service disruption during peak demand times.

· Most of Mangilao remains without water service.


Southern:

· GWA’s southern water system continues to operate at reduced capacity due to damaged control equipment at the Ugum Surface Water Treatment Plant.

· Water services are restored from Ipan to Umatac, however, higher areas in Umatac have no water until operators can build up water levels in the 1-million-gallon Umatac Sub Reservoir.

· Residents in Yona in extremely high elevations are without water.

· Nine (9) - 6,000-gallon Flexible Potable Water Tanks (FPWT):

North

o Dededo Mayor’s Office, Dededo

o Yigo Gym, Yigo

o Astumbo Fire Senior Center

o Mount Santa Rosa (near observatory), Yigo


Central

o Santa Teresita, Mangilao

o Shop 4 Less – stationed at the rear of the building on S. Biang St side , Maite


South

o Umatac Memorial Park, entrance to Umatac

o Malojloj Old Mayor’s Office

o Santa Rita/Apra Hts - Sinifa

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