REDUCED draft hits Canal revenue
The lack of rain has forced the Panama Canal to extend draft restrictions for Neopanamax vessels that have been in place since April says the Vice President of Environment, Water and Energy of the Panama Canal Authority, Carlos Vargas.
Vargas said that compared to previous periods there has been a 50% reduction in rainfall in the river basin from December to June.
There is a marked lack of rainfall in the headwaters that supply Lakes Gatún and Alajuela. The Gatún presents a deficit of 1.8 meters in elevation; while Alajuela is down three meters, said Vargas.
Vargas warned that the restriction measured up to April 30 would cost the Canal $15 million. In the first week of July there is still not enough rain in lakes Gatún and Alajuela.