Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013GU249B

Improving the Pohnpei Water Distribution System Using Hydraulic Modeling and Geographic Information Systems

Institute: Guam
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,731 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Leroy Heitz, Shahram Khosrowpanah

Abstract: Water hours and low delivery pressure have long been a part of the daily lives of the people in the Micronesian Islands. The problems with delivery of adequate supplies of water to the customers at appropriate pressure have become more and more of a challenge to public utilities throughout these islands. Part of these problems is due to phenomenal growth rates occurring in the island centers. This is particular true on the island of Pohnpei in Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Over the years the Pohnpei Utility Commissions (PUC) water distributions system has grown without adequate documentation as to the extent and size of supply and transmission resources and where these resources are located. Recently new wells were added to the PUCs water supply system. In 1987 investigators from WERI developed a preliminary map and non graphical model of the water delivery system. Since then many changes and additions have made to the delivery system. This project will result in the development of a set of management and engineering tools, which the planning, operation, and engineering staff at PUC can use to better plan, operate, and maintain the water delivery system. These tools will assist PUC to develop a water system that can deliver adequate water to all the households in Pohnpei on a continuous basis with sufficient pressure. The first management tool that will be developed will be a computerized water system network model. This model will be developed using information gathered from PUC sources and from field gathered location and component description information. Other information such as system pressure and flows will be gathered as part of the calibration process of the model. The model will be available to the PUC engineering and planning staffs to help in pinpointing problems areas and to explore operation options for improving system performance. The model will be developed using the free water distribution modeling program "EPANET". This model was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The second tool will be a Geographic Information System based (GIS) inventory of system resources. This GIS system will describe the water sources available, the well systems in place, water storage facilities and major transmission lines in the distribution system. The GIS system will consist of maps showing the location of the various components of the water transmission system and ancillary equipment. The GIS will be available to managers and engineers so that they can explore various scenarios for long range planning for system maintenance and improvements. The GIS will also be available to the operations personnel so that they can maximize their resources for responding to emergencies, planning repairs, and purchasing the inventory of spare parts needed by the utility.