Part of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s rebuilding efforts is to go back to the goal of providing 24-hour water supply throughout Saipan—a project that was strongly in progress until Super Typhoon Yutu hit the island and neighboring Tinian in late October.
CUC executive director Gary Camacho said that 24-hour water has been a big a challenge for CUC for many years.
“We were able to achieve it for the first time in September but the storm has impacted that. So, the plan is to get us back to 24-hour water throughout the island soon enough as that is the focus and I think we will be able to achieve that without a problem.”
“Water mitigation is a priority, along with geothermal, as we will be looking into that again. We are proceeding with understanding our geothermal prospect even more,” he added.
Meanwhile, Camacho reiterated that water mitigation is extremely high on CUC’s priority list. “In fact, it’s on the top of the list… What this does is that the water supply will be available in multiple places and locations that will be self-generating and not dependent on the overhead system. With this, water should be distributed accordingly for many areas that still doesn’t have power,” he said.
“Our water restoration program to distribute water across the island is in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to place generators. …We do have a grant and a request for proposal is underway as we work diligently in getting the necessary information like waiting for final engineering designs to be complete because we want to make sure that we get this thing moving,” he added.
Expansion is also taking place. “As for power, we are going to be expanding with more guy wires, storm guys, and a variety of different things to secure the poles and system for future storms. Concrete poles are in place, but now we need to anchor them down accordingly,” he said.
“We were closing down on the Soudelor mitigation of concrete poles, but then Yutu hit…a lot of this will be dealt with and our system is much stronger as we move forward,” said Camacho.