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Hydrologic Resources of Guam

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4126

Prepared in cooperation with the

Water and Environmental Research Institute (WERI)

By Stephen B. Gingerich

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The U.S. Territory of Guam, which lies in the western Pacific Ocean near latitude 13°28'N and longitude 144°45'E, is the largest (211 mi2) and southernmost of the islands in the Mariana chain. Ground water supplies about 80 percent of the drinking water for the island's 150,000 residents and nearly one million visitors per year. In northern Guam, water is obtained from wells that tap the upper part of a fresh ground-water lens in an aquifer composed mainly of limestone. About 180 wells, nearly all in the north, withdraw about 35 Mgal/d of water with chloride concentrations ranging from 6 to 585 mg/L. In southern Guam, the main source of freshwater is from surface water that runs off the weathered volcanic rocks that are exposed over much of the area. About 9.9 Mgal/d of freshwater is obtained using surface reservoirs. The island's freshwater resources are adequate to meet current (2003) needs, but future demands will eventually be higher. To better understand the hydrology of the island, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) entered into a cooperative study with the Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific (WERI) at the University of Guam. The objective of the study was to provide a better understanding of the water resources of the island through analysis of data collected by the USGS on Guam.

This report provides a description of the general hydrologic principles of the island's ground-water systems, as well as of the rainfall and geology of Guam. Hydrologic data described in the report include water levels, chloride concentrations, and pumpage from ground-water wells and streamflow data from southern Guam.

Citation: Gingerich, S.B., 2003, Hydrologic Resources of Guam: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4126, 2 Plates.


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