Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014GU276B

Optimizing operation of the Saipan's water distribution system using diurnal demand pattern and system pressure

Institute: Guam
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $11,230 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Brian Bearden, Shahram Khosrowpanah

Abstract: A stated goal of the CNMI government is to provide 24-hour water to all residents served by the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC). In response, for the past several years the Saipan water delivery system has undergone significant changes. In 2006, the EPA acknowledged that the lack of safe drinking water was among the top environmental challenges facing the CNMI, particularly Saipan (Erediano, 2006). As the result, In March of 2009, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC) entered into a stipulated order (STO) for preliminary relief under an agreement with the Government of the United States. The order provided for a long list of compliance items that CUC must complete in order to satisfy the stipulated order. One major item that CUC must prepare is a Master Plan for their water supply and waste water systems. Finally, in 2013 an updated master plan Drinking Water Mater Plan-Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island was completed. Through field visits, the master plan did an assessment of the current state of the water infrastructure and provided recommendations for improvement. Reducing system leakage (non-revenue water), monitoring pressure changes through out the system, and monitoring water usage were on the high priority list that was recommended to CUC for improvement. According to the master plan, non-revenue accounts for nearly 70 percent of the water production on Saipan. Assessing various strategies for reducing non-revenue water and providing 24-hour water was identified as one of critical research needs for CNMI at the CNMI research advisory meeting of October 17, 2013. In order to reduce the non-revenue water rate and improve the system operation it is necessary to have a good knowledge of the pressure changes in the water system and how this changes with the hourly water use. The specific objectives of this project will be to: 1. Determine the pressure change throughout the CUCs water distribution system using pressure loggers that will be installed at selected fire hydrants. 2. Continue to improve Diurnal demand pattern (changes of water demand during the day and month) that was developed in FY2013. 3. Examine the physical components of the entire water distribution system 4. Determine water system operation that assists CUC provides 24-hour water service to all its customers. The benefits to the CUC will be: 1. Improving the operation of the system. To have knowledge about the amount of water that is being used by various customers during a time period will enable the CUC to transfer the needed water to each sub-region as needed for providing a 24-hour water service. 2. Improving the system maintenance. At the present time, all the CUC pumps are working on a 24 hours basis regardless of the well drawdown. This is causing an increase in maintenance and pump replacement costs. Information on demand changes with time will help the CUC know which pump should be on or off. 3. Reducing the rate of the water lost through the system.