Three multipurpose reservoirs will be built to guarantee sufficient enough water supply for the Panama Canal and for public consumption in the area near the waterway.
Speaking at an event on Tuesday, Daniel Muschett, executive manager of water capacity projects at the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), said that the technical studies for the construction of the reservoirs are already underway and around 70% complete, local broadcaster TVN Noticias reported.
The reservoirs would be located on the La Villa, Bayano and Indio rivers, and would be built under the national water security plan 2015-2050 launched by the administration of outgoing President Juan Carlos Varela.
In addition to guaranteeing potable water supply, the reservoirs will also be used for irrigation, to boost tourism and for boating, Muschett said.
The water security plan requires total investments of US$11bn and is comprised of 560 projects to be developed through 2050.
Large quantities of water are needed for the operation of the canal’s locks. In the third set of locks that were built as part of the expansion, as much as 55mn gallons of freshwater are needed for each transit, of which 22mn eventually end up in the sea.
The canal water basin is the most important one in the country and also supplies potable water to Panama City and second city Colón.