‘100 pct. of Saipan now has 24-hour water’


For the first time, 100 percent of Saipan residents are now experiencing a 24-hour water supply from the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., according to a CUC official.

In his presentation to the U.S. District Court for the NMI last Wednesday afternoon, CUC water/wastewater division manager Gary Byra cited a graph showing that, for the month of July 2018, 96 percent of the island’s residents had 24-hour water supply, which then improved to 100 percent in August.

The same graph showed that, in 2006, only 26 percent of the population had 24-hour water supply; that grew to 54 percent of the island’s population in 2007.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s status conference, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter praised the staff and officials at CUC for having 24/7 water supply for the first time on the island.

Carter also thanked CUC, the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Gilbane Federal/Engineering and Environmental Management Co. for all the information provided to the court during the status conference.

According to the minutes of the conference, CUC executive director Gary Camacho stated that the Office of the Governor had applied for a $2-million grant with the U.S. Department of Interior to fund a project to activate nine inactive wells in Kannat Tabla.

O’Carter said a transcript of the discussion will be given to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres as this project is one of the highest priorities.

CUC project manager Larry Manacop provided information regarding the water situation, leakage, and old pipes.

CUC deputy executive director William Gilmore informed the court that they estimate a need for $3.3 million for water line replacement in some areas.

CUC legal counsel James Sirok reported on the status of water meters.

Last February, Carter raised concerns as to why some parts on the island have no 24-hour water supply. He then directed CUC and other parties to put up plans to resolve this problem.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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