WHILE the trade war has not yet affected the Panama Canal its future depends on the water supply that maintains adequate levels in Lake Gatun for the transit of large containerships, neopanamax and methane tankers, and cruise ships which now have access because of the expanded locks, and new reservoirs are urgently needed.
The statement came from the Canal Authority Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano on Tuesday. October 23 at a f.orum sponsored by La Prensa
The administrator said that by 2020 it is estimated that the water consumption of the Canal basin will rise 79% due to the demand of the population for which it is vital
“The total consumption will increase from 438 million gallons per day to 662 million gallons by 2020, which is worrying because there will be more pressure on the resource that is vital to maintaining the competitiveness of the Canal, ” he said
Quijano said that it is fundamental to be able to adequately manage water consumption both for the population and for the supply of Gatun Lake and the entire Canal route.
He indicated that currently, the Canal basin supplies about 60% of the consumption of the
Panamanian population and there must be a project to supply water, from Lake Bayano to Pacora to supply the urban growth of the East area, as well as other projects that will demand more water resources.
“In the coming years, 225 million gallons a day will be extracted from the waters of the Canal by new water treatment plants and the consumption of the population,” he said.
Cargo traffic through the Panama Canal has not yet felt the negative effects of the trade war between the United States and China, said Quijano. the United States is the first user of the Canal followed by China, so any restriction in trade between these two countries will have an effect on the route.
“There has not yet been a negative effect from the imposition of tariffs on imports from China, but if there is, we have calculated an effect of between $60 million and $65 million dollars,” he said.