The End of The Drought in Panama is Finally in Sight

After a long wait, the end of the drought in Panama is finally in sight. According to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), they are ready to welcome more ships in the coming weeks. 

The supply chain has suffered, and many ships are delayed on one of the world’s busiest trade routes connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Panama Canal is experiencing its driest October in 73 years.  

Recently, Gatun Lake, a man-made reservoir that is the main source of the panama canal water supply, received water supply from recent rainfall. Leading to increased traffic.  

According to data from Clarksons, Panama Canal is currently operating at a 60% level compared to their operation amount in 2022, a period during which the condition is more or less normal. The condition of transit for containers and tankers has also almost fully recovered. 

Panama Canal was suffering from El Nino in the past six months. El Nino is known as a climate pattern that brings high temperatures, resulting in the evaporation of the Gatun Lake (the water supply of the Panama Canal). According to forecasts by the US National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, El Nino is predicted to come to an end in the following month. And there is also a 60% chance of La Nina, which brings cooler temperatures and more rainfall to developing countries. 

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is optimistic that the operation in the canal will return to normal in 2025. (ACP) recently also proposed a 2 USD billion project to dam the nearby Indio River and then also drilled an 8-kilometer mountain tunnel connecting the newly constructed reservoir to Gatun Lake. However, the proposal had been criticized by the local farmer, whose land is threatened to be flooded by the dam.