From the internet:
DROUGHT STILL HITTING CANAL AND HOMES
PANAMA’S WATER worries which led to the recent declaration of a state of emergency, could continue into and though 2016 which threatens to be an even drier year.
The administrator of the Authority of the Panama Canal (ACP), Jorge Luis Quijano, warned Wednesday August 16 that it could announce a further increase of restricted draft of ships in the waterway, due to lack of rains in the coming days and the drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon.
Quijano reported that the canal company has taken the first step in reduce the draft of vessels by six inches which will be implemented from September.
but the possibility of a further drop in the draft is being studied.
Quijano said in previous statements that restricting depth of 6 inches would affect only 5 of the 34 ships passing daily through the Canal.
Maximum allowable draft will be 11.89 meters (39 feet) in fresh water, and will apply from September 8, 2015.
The maximum authorized draft is defined in terms of the deepest point of immersion specific to each ship on Lake Gatun.A press release explained that the measures would not significantly affect the efficiency and capacity of canal operations. because "the rains that have fallen in recent days have somewhat stabilized Gatun Lake, but have not increased the level in an important way."
Guijano added: In 2016 we are going to have a very dry year, but we are doing everything possible to minimize the impact and to maintain lake levels”
He said that if the situation in the reservoirs of the waterway does not improve, the likelihood that the lakes will be filled by December is very low.
"This is worrying so we have to look for more sources of water, "he said.
The drought has caused the levels of consumption of industrial and drinking water, programmed by the ACP for 2025 to be exceeded.