HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Interior Department has awarded a $4.8 million capital improvement project grant to the Northern Mariana Islands.
The department said in a Washington news release that the money will be used to help expand critical water system improvements in the U.S. commonwealth.
The grant was signed Monday by Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta.
He says 24-hour potable water for the people of Saipan is a top priority for his office.
The grant provides funding for a task force to move forward with water infrastructure improvement projects.
Among other things, the financing will support an island-wide initiative to install new underground waterlines and to replace old existing ones.