Project Report PR-94-03
Water Supply and Demand Problems in Rapidly Growing Small Islands
Water resources management is one of the key issues that affect the long-term sustainability of economic development and growth of small island communities. To gain perspective on this issue for Saipan, the basic water supply and demand conditions were examined with reference to comparable conditions on Oahu and Okinawa. Water balance flow charts were designed for this purpose. Limited storage capacity and deteriorating water quality in Saipan are major constraints in the potential for expanding water supplies for the future. The long-term potential for a water-blending strategy under a unified management system to offset these physical constraints depends on a more comprehensive institutional strategy for water resources management. In order to satisfy the necessary conditions for sustainable economic growth, a diversified strategy of direct and indirect tools of control needs to be designed and enforced to secure a safe minimum standard of water conservation for Saipan.