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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Interior Department Provides Funding for Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Water Improvements



September 27, 2010
For more information please contact:
Jennifer Feng (202) 208-6974
Jennifer_Feng@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta today signed a $4,837,520 Capital Improvement Project grant for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to help expand critical water system improvements.

The grant provides funding for the CNMI Water Task Force to move forward with water infrastructure improvement projects. Financing will support an island-wide initiative to install new underground waterlines, replace old existing ones, connect the TP-1 water well to the Capital Hill Reservoir and increase the overall water supply.

"Twenty-four-hour potable water for the people of Saipan is a top priority for this office," said Assistant Secretary Babauta.  "During one of my earlier visits to Saipan, Congressman Sablan encouraged me to meet with the Commonwealth Utilities Commission (CUC) to better understand the challenges it and the Water Task Force face to modernize and fix a decades-old system which is actually preventing the daily delivery of clean water.  Since then, Congressman Sablan and I have worked together to identify or redirect resources that would allow the CUC and the Water Task Force to expand existing efforts. This is a vital initiative that will help the CNMI to provide 'round the clock' clean water to its residents."

Funding will also be used to make improvements to address concerns related to safe drinking water availability, water quality, and efforts presently underway to meet current
and future water demands.