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Senator Nelson Continues Hearing on Increase of Water Rates and Lost Water

(Hagåtña, Guam) Senator Telena Cruz Nelson continued her inquiry into the increase of water rates and inability of Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) to account for all the water it produces. The Consolidated Commission on Utilities and GWA officials attended the second of a series of informational briefings called by Senator Nelson. They detailed borrowing money for Guam’s water and wastewater systems and provided additional details on “non-revenue water.” Chairperson of the utilities committee Senator Nelson said, “I called for public, televised evening briefings on water rate increases and water losses so the public can understand the issues and what’s being done to solve them.” In the first two meetings, the committee has received a briefing on court orders and bond funding to construct improvements, and an explanation on the causes of water losses. GWA has provided written testimony on specific waterlines and reservoirs being constructed. Future briefings will be on priorities for the next five years and updating the master plan. “We learned that most of the past borrowing was to bring our wastewater system into compliance with federal standards. We are in the last five years of a 20-year project to upgrade the island wide system for the first time. Now that GWA has sufficient revenue to cover its bonds and to maintain the system, we are curious about its priorities to address community development and future borrowing.” The next informational briefing is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2017, 5:30 p.m. in the Guam Legislature’s Public Hearing Room.

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