Compilation of water resources development and hydrologic data of Saipan, Mariana Islands

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4121




Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a chain of 14 islands north of Guam. Saipan comprises one third of the land area of the islands. No long-term rainfall record is available at any location, but some rainfall records are for periods up to 16 years, some of which began in 1901. Average annual rainfall for the island is 81 inches, with the southern end receiving about 10 inches less annually than the rest of the island. The amount of rainfall which runs off in northeast Saipan ranges from 23 to 64 percent and averages about 40 percent. Runoff on the rest of the island is from springs or occurs only during heavy rainfall. Surface-water development appears impractical. Ground water is the main source of water for the island and production was almost 4 million gallons per day in 1982. However, chloride concentration in ground water exceeds 1,000 milligrams per liter in many locations. The average chloride concentration of the domestic water stays near the maximum permissible level (600 milligrams per liter). This report summarizes the history of the water-resources development and presents all available hydrologic data, including rainfall records since 1901, streamflow records since 1968, and drilling logs, pumping tests, chemical analyses, and production figures from 180 testholes and wells drilled on Saipan. (USGS)

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Compilation of water resources development and hydrologic data of Saipan, Mariana Islands
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
x, 578 p. :ill. ;28 cm.