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February 16, 2015 @ 6:09 pm

BTF EPISODE 19 Rebroadcast Water Sustainability

Ep. 19 "Fresh Water and Island Sustainability"(hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames with production assistance by Lydia Taleu;  for re-broadcast by Alan Grossman) first aired 5/28/10 and was re-broadcast 2/13/15.  

In 2010 a federal law was enacted which allows the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) to acquire the U.S. Navy water system, but only if Guam pays “‘fair market value’ for the system.  The Navy’s Fena Reservoir supplies water to the military and to GWA customers in southern villages. In February 2015, local media reported that the recently elected Chairman of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities wants to engage in collaborative talks with the Navy about the water supply issue and hopes for a ‘compromise’ to save costs for both the Navy and GWA. At the same time, the Vice Speaker of the Guam Legislature sent a letter to the Governor decrying the lack of federal response to the 40 percent increase in the water rate the U.S. Navy is charging the Guam Waterworks Authority Authority and seeking support from the Governor to sue the federal government over the island’s water system.  

This re-broadcast features interviews with two Guam residents, Dr. John Jenson and Ms. Sabina Flores Perez.  Dr. Jenson is a Professor of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Guam Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific (WERI) and chair of the Master's in Environmental Science Program. Ms. Perez is a teacher, certified permaculturalist, and member of Famoksaiyan (Chamorro, meaning 'a time or place for nurturing’ or ‘a time to paddle forward'), a collective of artists, activists, and community workers dedicated to promoting decolonization of of Chamorros in the diaspora and on Guahan. 

These two interviews were conducted during Earth Week 2010, after the end of the 90 day comment period on the November 2009 Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) but before the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD).  Although the focus is mainly on the drilling of wells in the northern aquifer to accommodate the military buildup, these comments are relevant to ongoing concerns related to the island’s fresh water resources and system, the dissemination and use of research, the cost and quality of water, the elusive policy objective of an integrated public and military water management system, and implications of all this for long term island sustainability.

Music /poetry selections: “Hand in Hand” a song commissioned by UNICEF, composed by Costas Cacoyannis, with lyrics by Pambos Kouzalis, featuring Oreivates; “Water Preservation Poem” by Seidy Flores, read by Janna Melsness. 

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