Panama mulls water options for canal and capital


The Panama Canal (Photo courtesy of the Panama Canal Authority)

Severe drought in Panama this year has forced the country’s storied canal to implement water-saving measures, boosting the pressure to find new water sources not only for the canal, but for millions of Panamanians living nearby. Rainfall in the Panama Canal basin was 25% below average during the 12 months ending in September, thanks partly to Pacific Ocean warming associated with the El Niño weather pattern, and October’s precipitation was 35% below average. As a result, water levels at Lake Gatún, located on the northwestern portion of the canal route and one of two lakes that feeds the locks, was almost five feet below normal at the end of the month. Meanwhile, water levels in Lake Alajuela, a lake just east of the canal that provides most of Panama City’s drinking water in addition to helping supply the locks, was also below normal. The canal suspended hydroelectric operations at... [Log in to read more]

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