CCU: Military will pay its share
Thursday, 10 December 2009 23:40 by Jude Lizama | Variety News Staff
CONSOLIDATED Commission on Utilities commissioner Joseph Duenas said the Guam Power Authority and the Guam Waterworks Authority look forward to generating bigger revenues and expanding their customer base by having the military as a paying customer.
He described as “collaborative” and “fair” the dialogue with military buildup planners with respect to increasing demands and capacities of island utility services and the impact to ratepayers.
“Working with the military we have two sides. There is the power side and then there is the water-wastewater side. The military pays its fair share,” Duenas said. “We reflect the cost back to the ratepayer. Whatever cost to provide a service, we would like that back.”
Because of the buildup plans at the utility agencies will be accelerated to meet the increasing demands expected in the wake of a population explosion that will see up to one-third more new residents over the next few years.
According to Duenas, the military is a “full wholesale customer” with whom local utility commissioners have “reached very good agreements.”
Duenas said CCU is confident it will make some improvements to the system that will address some of their needs which allows GPA to expand its customer base. “In a business, when you get more customers you get more revenue, you get to do more things,” he added.
GWA currently purchases water from the Navy for redistribution in southern communities while in the north, “Andersen [Air Force Base] discharges its sewage into the northern treatment plant already, so we provide a service for them there,” Duenas said.
At present the military and GWA maintain separate water systems by the commissioner sees more integration as the military will “probably become a customer of ours in terms of the wastewater given the relationship we already have with Andersen.”
An important factor for consideration, according to Duenas, is the need to look at the aquifer with a holistic approach. With regard to protecting the northern lens aquifer, Duenas said that GWA and the military are “on the same page.”
“We’re one community. If we damage this aquifer, that’s it; everybody loses,” he said. “The long range plan is that hopefully they become our customer and we maintain all of the wells.”