Saipan is the largest island and site of the capital of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a chain of 15 tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean with a total area of 120 km² (46.5 sq mi). The 2000 census population was 62,392 .
“Saipan” lat=15.18093, lon=145.755997, about 200 km (120 mi) north of Guam, Saipan is about 20 km (12.5 mi) long and 9 km (5.5 mi) wide. The western side of the island has beaches and a coral reef, while the eastern shore is composed primarily of rugged rocky cliffs. Its highest point is the extinct volcano Mount Tapochau at 474 m (1,554 ft). Despite an annual rainfall of 80-100″, Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, the local government-run water utility company on Saipan, is unable to deliver 24-hour-a-day potable water to its customers. As a result, several of the large hotels use desalination plants to produce fresh water for their customers. Most homes and small businesses have cisterns to store rainwater, unlike Guam which has limestone aquifers.