WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
Project ID: GU1344
Title: Water Resources Training For The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
Focus Categories: Education, Management and Planning
Keywords: Operations and Maintenance, Education, Training, Water Resources
Start Date: 03/01/2001
End Date: 02/28/2002
Federal Funds: $22,615
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $0
Congressional District: N/A
Leroy F. Heitz
Professor, University of Guam
Professor, University of Guam
Planning, developing and monitoring the use of an Island's water resources is one of the most important function an island government can perform. In order to perform these functions effectively it is necessary for those making decisions to understand the basic nature of an island's water resources. This understanding can lead to more effective water resources development and protection. Water resources managers should also have an understanding of the technical vocabulary used in various engineering and environmental studies that are commonly carried out in the water resources area. In most cases, managers, supervisors and line employees have a good knowledge of what is going on in their specific field but in many cases their broad general background in water resources in general is lacking. The need for more training was identified as one of CNMI's critical water resources needs by the CNMI advisory council.
This proposed training is designed for all personnel working in areas where decisions are made concerning the development and protection of water resources. Managers will gain a better overall understanding of the resources issues and the problems their employees face as they deal with development and protection issues. Line employees will increase their expertise in the areas of water resources and will be able to more effectively carry out their jobs of planning and reviewing programs and proposals dealing with water resources. Those with previous experience in this area will gain new experience and insights into the topics covered. Those new to the field will gain a good foundation of knowledge on which to build their expertise.
The net results will be better management of one of the islands most valuable resources, its water. Specific results could be better development of ground water resources with lower salinity levels. Water supplies that are completely safe for drinking and water distribution systems that can provide water for the entire island on a 24-hour basis.
We are proposing a six-week course of study that will cover various water resources topics. Upon successful completion of the six week course the attendees will have:
1. An understanding of tropical island meteorology with emphasis on rainfall, the ultimate source of our waters.
2. An appreciation for the hydrologic cycle and the rainfall runoff process that regulates how much of the rain makes its way into useful runoff and groundwater.
3. Knowledge of how the geology of the islands dictates the movement of water above and under the ground.
4. An understanding of how water moves under the ground and the potential for contamination of that resource.
5. An appreciation of the various tests that are used to help us assure that our surface and groundwater is safe for drinking. An understanding of how water is delivered from source to consumer through a water distribution system.