About the Program
The Water Resources Management Program plays a key role in managing and protecting Guam’s principal source aquifer from pollution and overpumping. The program is responsible for implementing the Water Resources Development and Operating Regulations, Underground Injection Control (UIC) Regulations, Wellhead Protection and Water Quality Standards.
Responsibilities established by law
Federal law The first documented cases of an injection well contaminating potential drinking water sources was reported in the 1960s. U.S. Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act that gave EPA the autority to control underground injection that may affect underground drinking water sources. Many of these regulations were developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Local mandates In the early 1980s, Guam’s Legislature passed the Water Resources Conservation Act into public law. This legislation outlined protections for Guam’s groundwater through authorizing Guam EPA to regulate wells, well development and any activity that would affect the quality of groundwater.
In 1985, Guam adopted regulations for Water Resource Development and Operating. The Regulations were amended in 1990. They handle all well drilling issues through review and permitting as well as test borings, well repair and surface water protections.
In the field
Inspectors in this program spend much of their time ensuring permits issued are followed to minimize damage to the environment. Inspections may take place at construction sites, well drilling areas or many other locations across the island. This Program also includes engineers with technical expertise that review permit applications for technical adequacy and environmental protection aspects.
Elements of the Water Resources Program
Data about the groundwater lens characteristics is continuously collected and used to determine how the groundwater resource has been affected and to what extent future development can or should occur. The data is also used to determine whether changes or modifications to the current management are necessary. This data is key for the Program to have on hand as they review permits and developments. For more information about these studies contact Susan Marquez.
Underground Injection Control (UIC)
The Water Resources Management Program is also responsible for permitting and inspecting production and underground injection wells on Guam. UIC permits are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure compliance with permit restrictions.
Test boring and dewatering permits
Any individual or organization doing soil tests must get a permit from the Water Resources Program of Guam EPA. This includes any work digging deeper than six feet and is usually included with engineering work. Dewatering permits may be needed if the water table is encountered during excavation. These aspects are sub-components of clearing and grading permits.