REO Agenda 2019

as of 16:15, November 28, 2018

WERI’s National Mandates 
Under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, the National Institutes for Water Resources Research are explicitly charged to 1) arrange for competent research that addresses water problems or expands understanding of water and water-related phenomena, 2) aid the entry of new research scientists into the water resources fields, 3) help train future water scientists and engineers, and 4) get results of sponsored research to water managers and the public. 

WERI Objective
Trustworthy and timely scientific research, instruction, and advice to support sustainable development and effective management of the freshwater resources of Micronesia. 

WERI Mission
WERI’s primary mission is to seek solutions to local and regional needs through research, teaching, and outreach to improve exploration, production, distribution, and management of freshwater resources, with the aim of enhancing prosperity and quality of life for the citizens of Guam, the CNMI, and the FSM.  WERI meets its mandates for training and promoting new water scientists and engineers by providing graduate instruction and supporting thesis research for students in UOG’s Environmental Science Graduate Program; fostering collaboration with early-career scientists, especially its own alumni, and collaborating with larger institutions to leverage mutual opportunities for students and faculty at both UOG and the collaborating institutions. (See “Education” in “Additional Information.”)

WERI Vision
While focusing on local and regional needs, WERI also pursues basic research into related questions, especially through collaborations with specialists in complementary fields (e.g., karst hydrogeology, remote sensing, carbonate geochemistry, and paleoclimatology) at other institutions.  WERI leverages its expertise on local geology and hydrology with national resources through partnership with the USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, with which it jointly administers the USGS Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program for Guam.  (See “Involvement with other institutes” in “Additional Information.”)   

Research, Training, Education and Outreach Programs

Guam Activities

  1. Northern Guam Aquifer Research
    1. Baseline/Core Products
      1. Maps and Databases
        1. Northern Guam Map Series
          1. Aquifer map (since 2014, ongoing, 5-yr update due 2019) 
          2. Sinkhole map (stalled—Map and tech report in progress (Kottermair/King) 
          3. Aerial mapping of northern Guam sinkholes and other hydrologic features (Heitz, Habana, Wen)
        2. NGLA Database (since 2014, ongoing) (Kim-Habana/Bautista)
          1. Restore Coastal Aerial Imagery of northern Guam (Taboroŝi/Jenson)
      2. CWMP data collection program (Kim & Habana/USGS-PIWSC) (since 1998, ongoing)
        1. CWMP-MSERP data collection and monitor-well expansion (Habana & Kim) [GWA] 
      3.  One-Guam Aquifer Monitoring Program (OGAMP) (Jenson-Anthony, prospective) [GWA] 
    2. Water quantity/availability 
      1.  Groundwater modeling: sustainable yields (Habana/Superales) (since 2015, ongoing)
      2. Exploration of coastal discharge by remote sensing (King-Habana-Jenson) (new, 2018-2021) 
      3. NGLA freshwater lens thickness (Habana/Dougher) (since 2015, ongoing) 
      4. 2016-2017 GWA production-well rehabilitation assessment: Lessons Learned/Manual for Well Exploration and Development on Guam (Kim, Habana, Jenson) 
    3. Water quality 
      1. Patterns and trends of salinity in the NGLA (Habana/Miller) (since 2015, ongoing) 
      2. Contaminant profiles in GWA drinking water production wells over last 20 years (Denton) (new, 2018) (includes A-28) 
      3. Wastewater and contaminant assessment and control (Habana, Rouse) (Since 2015, ongoing) 
  2. Southern Guam Watersheds Research 
    1. Baseline/Core Products
      1. Maps and Databases
        1. Southern Watershed Map Series 
        2. Restore Coastal Aerial Imagery of southern Guam (Taboroŝi) 
        3.  General watershed map from aerial imagery (new, 2018, Habana-Heitz, others) 
    2. Water quantity/availability
      1. Santa Rita Spring rehabilitation (Jenson-Habana-Lander/Bourke) 
      2. Quantifying ungauged streamflow (Heitz-Lander) 
    3. Water quality 
      1. Toguan River hydrology and quality (Khosrowpanah) 
  3. Guam Water Resource Management 
    1. Baseline/Core Products 
      1. Guam Water-Use Database: Water-use data compilation and research (Kim/GHS Team) [Fund student RA to undertake date collection, archiving; possible thesis topic] 
  4. Guam Training, Education and Outreach Activities 
    1. Baseline/Core Products 
      1. GHS-CWMP Website (Kim & Habana) 
      2. Annual GHS Trend Reporting (Habana and GHS Team: Kim, Wen, Bautista + students) 
        1. Rainfall and recharge (Lander, Habana, Jenson) 
        2. Aquifer salinity (Habana, Kim, Wen, Jenson) 
        3. Wastewater markers (Habana, Rouse, Wen) 
      3. Annual Workshops & Presentations 
        1. GHS Professional Workshops (same topics as trends reports + related topics) 
        2. Presentations to policy-makers: Legislature, CCU/GWA 
        3. Aquifer tours (Jenson & Habana)
          1. Executive/professional tour: 2018—Legislature & One-Guam (with GWA management) 
          2. Educational: UOG students (Dr King’s class, EV511, SAME/Engineering students) 
          3. Outreach: Local school science teachers, with Water Kids (see below) 
    2. Water Kids (Card & Card) 
      1.  K-12 teacher workshops (including aquifer tour, above) (Card & Card) 
      2. School presentations (Card & Card) 


FSM Activities

  1. Wastewater management and treatment
    1. Yap sewage composting (Rouse)
  2. Education and outreach
    1. Yap digital atlas (Taboroŝi)
    2. New outreach education on water resources for K-12 (update previous work)

CNMI Activities

  1. Water quality
    1. Impact of past and present land-use activities on heavy metals and other recalcitrant contaminant in fisheries resources and bio-monitors from Saipan coastal waters (Denton)
    2.  Arsenic speciation and Hg/Se ratios in popular table fish from Saipan Lagoon (Denton)
    3. CNMI Park Service opportunities—follow on to current work
  2. Water Resource Management
    1. Baseline/Core Products
    2. CNMI Water-Use Database: [1] Water-use data compilation and research


Regional Research and Outreach Activities

  1. ENSO – PEAC (Lander)

    1. ENSO Newsletter
    2. Conference/workshop presentations

Basic Research (of interest to region and beyond)

  1. Karst Aquifer Evolution (Jenson, NSF collaboration with Gulley, USF)
    1. Water & air sampling in new and existing wells
    2. Dovetail with new well installation projects (MSERP)
  2. Guam/West Pacific Paleoclimate (Jenson, unfunded collaboration with UT-A, CalTech)
    1. Maintain Jinapsan Cave database (2008-2016 records), UT collaboration
    2. Speleothem analyses for Bomb Tritium and past 1500 years paleoclimate

Prospective opportunities or topics for new initiatives

  1. 104g proposal (with PIWSC) to leverage GHS for collaborative program 
  2. Sea grant proposal—application of NASA technologies (leverage coastal discharge project) 
  3. Wastewater treatment using saltwater – Rouse 


[1] Per director of USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center, USGS may have $26k to fund preparation of a 4-page proposal, with up to $200k subsequently available to launch a permanent research program in water use for CNMI.