The amount of rain that falls in Panama in the month of October is cause for great expectation. This fresh water is the catalyst for much activity for the interoceanic waterway and for the inhabitants of the Watershed that houses it. Heavy downpours fill the Gatun and Alhajuela lakes with water to their maximum levels to enjoy this treasure in the dry months. It is at this time that all the infrastructure that protects these reservoirs undergoes detailed reviews by the engineers and technicians of the Panama Canal. Tests of the operation of the Gatun Spillway demonstrate the reliable longevity of a structure built in 1913, thanks to its maintenance.
This rain from the Panamanian sky that falls on the Canal Watershed descends on a protected forest that absorbs and filters it. Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) study how to restore land that has lost its forest with the best combination of native trees and scrutinize the symbiotic relationships of fauna, flora and water. The importance of conserving this forest cover is directly related to the safety of Watershed residents and the reliability of the lakes. During the La Purisima storm in 2010, the forests around the Canal absorbed an enormous amount of water that, had it flowed directly into the spillways, would have destroyed them.
This is the first month of FY 2022, and we continue to take the necessary steps to achieve the efficiency and productivity goals we have set for ourselves. Our performance data at the close of FY 2021 is very positive and makes us appreciate the relevance and resilience of the Panama Canal in a time of pandemic and uncertainty.
Finally, in these days, we join the global awareness for the early detection of cancer, facilitating tests and information to the workforce and using our communication channels to emphasize the importance of self-examinations and medical follow-ups.
The light of October’s El Faro shines through the storm.