[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 146 (2000), Part 7]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages 10272-10273]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD

                                of guam

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, June 8, 2000

  Mr. UNDERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the 
University of Guam Water and Environmental Research Institute of the 
Western Pacific (WERI) on their twenty-fifth anniversary. WERI is the 
only regional water research institute dedicated to the needs of Guam, 
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and the 
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
  Formally established in June of 1975, WERI has since sought solutions 
to technical problems associated with the location, production, 
distribution, and management of freshwater resources--an extremely 
essential function for the island communities it serves. One of fifty-
five water research institutes authorized by Congress in the U.S. 
through the Water Research Act of 1964, WERI has expanded from a one-
person operation in 1975 to a staff today of fifteen people conducting 
research, training, and information dissemination for Guam and the 
Western Pacific. They have continually strived to foster and promote 
research, training, technical assistance, outreach, awareness, 
information sharing and dissemination.
  Partially funded by the federal government, WERI provides a wide 
array of services to the University of Guam and the people of the 
Pacific insular region for a fraction of what independent consultants 
would charge. Their research program covers all the costs for 
materials, equipment, supplies, computers, audio

[[Page 10273]]

visual, and field trip expenses required by 17 graduate and 4 
undergraduate courses at the University of Guam. In addition, WERI 
conducts a number of professional training workshops throughout the 
region each year. During the past three years, their faculty has 
published over 65 reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and technical 
reports while carrying on 33 separate funded research and training 
projects. This is in addition to their regular university teaching and 
service commitments.
  Constructed through a matching federal grant, the WERI analytical 
laboratory is totally self-sustaining. As the knowledge base created by 
WERI is actively sought by various government agencies and offices on 
Guam, it generates a significant portion of its operating expenses. The 
governor's office, the Guam Legislature, various local commissions, the 
private sector, the media and the local community constantly rely on 
WERI's technological expertise. Consequently, the 24th and 25th Guam 
Legislatures set up two annual special appropriations for them to 
manage long term water monitoring and data collection on the island. 
Their reputation is such that the United States Geological Survey 
continues to rate WERI as one of the top water institutes among the 
state and Territorial institute programs.
  I extend my congratulations to the individuals who have contributed 
to the valuable progress and success of WERI. The dedicated people who 
deserve credit include WERI director, Dr. Galt Siegrist; faculty 
members Drs. Shahram Khosrowpanah, Leroy Heitz, Gary Denton John 
Jenson, and Mark Lander; Charles Guard of the research faculty; 
laboratory manager Harold Wood; laboratory assistants Crispina Herreria 
and Lucrina Concepcion; staff hydrogeologist John Jocson; and staff 
members Norma Blas and Dolores Santos.
  WERI has made valuable contributions to the people of Guam and the 
Pacific region. Their work for the past twenty five years, has led to 
better planning, more efficient allocation and protection of our 
valuable water resources. On behalf of the people of Guam, I commend 
and congratulate the faculty and staff of the University of Guam Water 
and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific for their 
excellence and join in celebrating their 25th anniversary.