CNMI Utility: 47 Percent Of Distributed Water Unaccounted For

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Unmetered sources, water theft, leakage to blame

By Junhan B. Todiño

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, July 8, 2014) – The Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s water losses in the distribution line are "extremely high," CUC Executive Director Alan W. Fletcher said.

"We have 47 to 48 percent of the water unaccounted for," he reported to the CUC board headed by David J. Sablan Jr.

The unaccounted for water could be a combination of metering, unmetered sources, water theft and leakage within the system, Fletcher said, adding that they’ve done extensive leak repair over the past years.

CUC was able to repair over 600 leaks on island, but the dilapidated pipelines need immediate replacement, he said.

Fletcher said their engineers will make a more detailed presentation of the overall condition of CUC’s water and waste water division.

"Everything we do in water and wastewater has rate implication," he told the board.

He said CUC has accomplished significant work for water and wastewater but there are still lots of projects to be done.

Board member Adelina Roberto urged CUC management to monitor the activity of the fire division which draws water from the fire hydrants.

"We’re going to protect every drop we can," Fletcher replied, saying that CUC continues to address leakages and is ensuring that all its clients are metered.

Roberto also asked CUC management to work with the Department of Public Lands to ensure that whenever there’s a homestead project, DPL is mandated to establish infrastructure including water and sewer lines before issuing titles to the lots.

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