Self-Imposed 6-Year Deadline for Panama Canal Reservoir Project

Vessels transting the Panama Canal
Updated Published

The Panama Canal Authority has set a six-year timeline to complete the construction of a massive $1.6 billion reservoir along the Indio River. This project aims to enhance water security and ensure the canal can sustain a minimum of 36 transits per day in the future.

At its peak, the canal was capable of handling 40 ship transits daily. However, this capacity was significantly reduced last year due to unprecedented drought conditions. As a result, canal administrators had to reduce the maximum draft limits for ships passing through the larger neopanamax locks by nearly 2 meters, a restriction that has been gradually lifted with the return of rain.

Panama experienced its most severe drought on record last year, compelling administrators to cut transits by half. Fortunately, conditions have been improving this year with the onset of the rainy season. 

Starting August 5, the canal will increase the number of daily transits to 35 slots.